Jones Apparel To Acquire Majority Stake In Stuart Weitzman

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Jones Apparel To Acquire Majority Stake In Stuart Weitzman

Jones Apparel Group announced that it has entered into an agreement to acquire Stuart Weitzman Holdings, the privately-held leading designer and manufacturer of women's salon footwear and accessories.

Stuart Weitzman markets its products in specialty and department stores worldwide and in its own chain of retail stores in the U.S. and abroad. Stuart Weitzman realized net revenues of approximately $193 million in 2009.

Over the last five years, the company has added 25 vertical stores in the U.S. and 26 more abroad, including flagship stores in Rome and Milan.

Under the terms of the agreement, Jones will make initial cash payments of approximately $180 million to selling shareholders, including Irving Place Capital, for a 55 percent interest in Stuart Weitzman.

Stuart Weitzman will be the principal owner of the remaining 45 percent interest.

Executive chairman Stuart Weitzman and his management team will remain aboard according to the announcement.

Wesley Card, Chief Executive Officer, Jones Apparel Group, said, "The Stuart Weitzman business represents an excellent addition to our existing portfolio of branded footwear and accessories and is an ideal complement to our designer and contemporary businesses."

Mr. Card added: "With a world renowned business and notable brand recognition, Stuart Weitzman's shoes and handbags reach a loyal customer base that spans across generations. Our goal of providing strong brands and quality products to a wide range of consumers is furthered by having Stuart Weitzman, LLC join our company. Together, with our expertise in execution and sourcing, Stuart Weitzman, LLC will continue to expand its reach as a leader in the upscale footwear market. We welcome Stuart, Wayne and their entire team to Jones."

Stuart Weitzman said: "Irving Place Capital has been a great partner, helping us to build Stuart Weitzman into a successful, compelling, global brand. Together, we determined that the time was right to take the company to the next level by teaming up with Jones. Jones has the resources to scale the business to maximize future growth and a rich history of understanding and supporting the entrepreneurial nature of its various businesses. I am extremely confident that, because of its appreciation of our brand vision, we have found a strategic partner to help us maximize our growth opportunities. We look forward to collaborating with Jones and leveraging its strong infrastructure to help us improve our service and expand our product mix to an even broader consumer base worldwide."

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