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Sycamore to announce $1.2 billion Jones Group acquisition by next week - sources

December 13
11:34 AM 2013

Two people who were familiar with the matter revealed to Reuters that private-equity firm Sycamore Partners is close to securing Jones Group Inc for $15 per share. The price per share offer has put the retailer's value at around $1.2 billion. One of the sources added that the deal could be announced as early as next week.

The sources refused to be named as the process is not meant to be made public.

Established in 2011 by ex-executives of buyout firm Golden Gate Capital Corp, Sycamore earlier acquired Hot Topic Inc for $600 million in March. Hot Topic is the operator of over 800 stores that sell clothing, accessories and music to teenagers.

New York-based Sycamore has been placing investments in the retail market. It has struck a strategic partnership with KKR & Co to provide a joint bid for the US retailer in early bidding rounds. KKR later on dropped out of the bidding, leaving Sycamore on its own, Reuters said in its report. Five months ago, Jones Group has tapped Citigroup Inc to help manage its exit process, which includes an evaluation of options that include a sale, according to people with knowledge of the matter at the time.

Jones Group is the owner of high-profile fashion brands Jones New York and Nine West. In recent years, it has struggled to regain significant market share as it sought to reive its women's sportswear brand for Jones New York, which were sold in Macy's Inc and other mid-priced department stores. The report said Jones Group's premium brands like Stuart Weitzman did better. The retailer also sells shoes and apparel under brands like Anne Klein and Rachel Roy.

A cluster of potential buyers in the private industry that include G-III Apparel Group Ltd expressed their plans to acquire parts of Jones Group as oppose to acquiring the entire company, people who had knowledge of the matter had said.

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