Sycamore Partners today announced that it has closed its second fund, Sycamore Partners II, L.P., with limited partner commitments of $2.5 billion. Sycamore Partners’ first fund, Sycamore Partners, L.P., closed in 2012 with limited partner commitments of $1 billion. With the closing of its second fund, Sycamore Partners now has in excess of $3.5 billion in assets under management.
“We are grateful for the positive and enthusiastic response we have received from our existing and new limited partners. With this new fund we continue to focus on our historically successful investment strategy of partnering with the very best consumer and retail executives to acquire and improve the very best consumer and retail brands,” said Stefan Kaluzny, a Managing Director of Sycamore Partners.
Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP served as fund counsel.
Sycamore Partners today announced that it has acquired the Coldwater Creek brand and other intellectual property. Sycamore intends to re-launch Coldwater Creek as an independent portfolio company.
“Coldwater Creek is an outstanding brand with a 30-year heritage and strong support from its loyal base of longtime customers,” said Peter Morrow, a Managing Director of Sycamore Partners. “We are excited about adding Coldwater Creek to our growing portfolio of leading retail brands and look forward to reintroducing the brand to the marketplace.”
The intellectual property was purchased through Sycamore affiliate CWC Direct LLC in conjunction with Coldwater Creek’s ongoing Chapter 11 proceedings in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington, Delaware. Additional information about the re-launch of Coldwater Creek will be provided at a later date.
Sycamore Partners today announced that it has reorganized the remaining businesses of The Jones Group into four independent operating companies: the Nine West Group, a Jeanswear company (which will be named later), Jones New York, and the Kasper Group. Each will operate as an independent company led by its own management team. Sycamore Partners previously announced that Stuart Weitzman and Kurt Geiger would each become independent companies.
"We believe that this structure will allow each of these businesses to better serve their customers and achieve long-term success," said Stefan Kaluzny, a Managing Director of Sycamore Partners. "As independent companies, decision-making will be more closely aligned with the needs of the individual brands and our more than 10,000 associates around the world. We are excited to partner with the leadership of each of these companies to invest in their growth and help them achieve their full potential."
Kathy Nedorostek will be Chief Executive Officer of the Nine West Group, which will include footwear, handbags and jewelry. Jack Gross, who has led the Jeanswear business for the last 20 years, will be Chief Executive Officer of the Jeanswear company. Aru Kulkarni and George Sharp will continue to lead Jones New York. And Gregg Marks will be Chief Executive Officer of the Kasper Group, which he has led for the last 30 years.
The Nine West Group and the Jeanswear company will continue to issue financial reports on a consolidated basis as Nine West Holdings (per their financial reporting requirements under their previously disclosed indentures). Nine West Holdings, as the successor to The Jones Group, will continue to provide the shared service functions historically provided by The Jones Group.
With the establishment of Nine West Holdings and this decentralized structure, Wesley R. Card will step down as Chief Executive Officer and John T. McClain will step down as Chief Financial Officer of The Jones Group. Mr. McClain will become a member of the Board of Directors of Nine West Holdings and assist Sycamore Partners with other aspects of its portfolio.
Mr. Kaluzny added: “We are very grateful to the executive leadership of The Jones Group for their many contributions, especially Wes Card, who has dedicated almost 25 years to guiding the company to tremendous growth and success. We look forward to benefitting from John’s experience and insights as we continue to grow Sycamore Partners’ portfolio of retail and consumer companies.”
Sycamore Partners today announced that, in conjunction with its recent acquisition of The Jones Group Inc., Stuart Weitzman will operate as an independent company in the investment firm’s growing portfolio of leading retail and consumer businesses. Sycamore Partners’ acquisition of Stuart Weitzman is being made in partnership with the company’s long-time management team, including Executive Chairman Stuart Weitzman and Chief Executive Officer Wayne Kulkin.
Mr. Weitzman said, “We are excited to work with Sycamore Partners and are confident that this transaction will help fuel the continued momentum of the Stuart Weitzman brand as we enter our next phase of growth. Sycamore Partners has a history of supporting the visions of its portfolio companies, and we anticipate a long and successful partnership.”
“We are thrilled to have Sycamore Partners’ support as we continue to execute on our strategic priorities and grow the brand across its many channels and geographies,” said Mr. Kulkin. “We look forward to partnering with Sycamore Partners to identify areas for further expansion and development of the Stuart Weitzman brand.”
“Stuart Weitzman has a world-renowned business with excellent brand recognition, a loyal customer base and promising growth initiatives underway,” said Stefan Kaluzny, a Managing Director of Sycamore Partners. “We are delighted to have the opportunity to work with Stuart, Wayne and the rest of the Stuart Weitzman team as they position the brand for continued growth and development.” Stuart Weitzman previously operated as a division of The Jones Group, which was acquired by Sycamore Partners on April 8, 2014.
Sycamore Partners today announced that it has completed its acquisition of The Jones Group Inc. (“The Jones Group” or the “Company”). The transaction is valued at approximately $2.2 billion.
“We are excited to have finalized the acquisition of The Jones Group and are confident this will be a long and successful partnership,” said Stefan Kaluzny, a Managing Director of Sycamore Partners. “We look forward to working with The Jones Group team to continue to grow this outstanding portfolio of businesses and brands and create exceptional products for our customers.”
Wesley R. Card, The Jones Group Chief Executive Officer, said, “We are very pleased to have completed this transaction, which delivers meaningful value to all of our shareholders. Sycamore Partners’ extensive knowledge and expertise in the consumer and retail space will allow The Jones Group’s brands to reach their full potential and continue to resonate with our loyal customers.”
As a result of the completion of the merger, the common stock of The Jones Group is no longer listed for trading on the New York Stock Exchange.
Citigroup Global Markets, Inc. acted as financial advisor to The Jones Group and Peter J. Solomon Company acted as financial advisor to the Company’s Board of Directors. Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP acted as legal advisor to The Jones Group and Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP acted as legal advisor to the independent directors of the Company’s Board of Directors. Morgan Stanley, Jefferies, KKR Asset Management, MCS Capital Markets, Wells Fargo Capital Finance and Bank of America Merrill Lynch provided financing for the transaction. BofA Merrill Lynch and Guggenheim Securities acted as financial advisors to Sycamore Partners. Winston & Strawn LLP, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP and the Law Offices of Gary M. Holihan, P.C. acted as legal advisors to Sycamore Partners.
The Jones Group transaction is the fifth investment by Sycamore Partners, which currently has more than $1 billion in capital under management. Previous transactions include the acquisition of a controlling interest in MGF Sourcing from L Brands; the formation of Pathlight Capital, LLC; the acquisition of The Talbots, Inc.; and the acquisition of Hot Topic, Inc.
Sycamore Partners today announced that Kurt Geiger, a leading European luxury branded shoe retailer, has completed a management-led buyout and is now operating as an independent company. Sycamore Partners supported Kurt Geiger’s management team in its acquisition of the business, which previously was a division of The Jones Group Inc.
Kurt Geiger has been a leader and innovator in European footwear since 1963, when it opened its first boutique on Bond Street in London. Today the company operates in more than 180 multi-branded luxury and premium shoe concessions in leading British and international department stores, including Harrods, Selfridges, House of Fraser, John Lewis, Debenhams, David Jones and Myer. The company also sells its own iconic footwear brands, including Kurt Geiger London and Carvela, in more than 70 global retail locations, as well as premium department stores in the UK and around the world.
Neil Clifford, Kurt Geiger Chief Executive Officer, said, “We are thrilled to be supported by Sycamore Partners, which has extensive retail experience and a proven history of partnering with management teams. We believe our company has tremendous potential for growth in the UK and internationally, and we will continue to invest in new opportunities alongside our department store and brand partners. Our company is passionate about product, and we will carry on our legacy of offering the most exciting and innovative footwear, bringing the creativity of British design talent to a global audience.”
“We have great respect for Kurt Geiger’s strong and dedicated management team, deep history of partnership with exceptional department stores, and its own distinctive portfolio of footwear brands,” said Stefan Kaluzny, a Managing Director of Sycamore Partners. “The company has great potential for growth, and we look forward to working with Neil and the Kurt Geiger team to help position the business for long-term success.”
Mr. Clifford and the other members of the Kurt Geiger management team are all reinvesting in the company and will hold a significant stake going forward. They remain fully committed to the growth of the brand and the business.
As noted, Kurt Geiger was previously a division of The Jones Group, which was acquired by Sycamore Partners on April 8, 2014.