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Iconix Brand group taken private in US$585 million PE deal

Private-equity investor Lancer Capital is to take Nasdaq-listed US brand owner Iconix Brand Group private, paying US$585 million cash for the business. 

Iconix fully or partially owns, licences and markets a raft of brands including Lee Cooper, Ecko, Joe Boxer, Ed Hardy, Danskin, Mossimo, Pony, Candie’s, Ocean Pacific, Umbro, Royal Velvet, Rampage, and London Fog.  

The deal brings to an end a year-long search for an investor to help relieve the business of a heavy debt burden. Lancer will invest $60 million in equity and the remainder of the cash will be invested as debt funding by hedge fund Silver Point Capital.

“After a thorough and deliberative examination of all potential strategic alternatives, the board of directors determined that the transaction with Lancer provides the best value for our stockholders,” said CEO Bob Galvin. 

“We expect that Iconix will continue developing its brands and supporting its partners as a private company.”

In an analysis of the deal, Retail Dive observed that during recent years companies like Iconix and rival Authentic Brands – which specialise in aggregating brands – have faced both opportunities and challenges in the market. 

“With apparel sellers and retailers struggling in the mall doldrums, acquisition targets have been plenty. But along with acquisitions – often financed on borrowed money – have come traffic declines and fierce competition among retailers that sell their brands,” wrote Retail Dive’s Ben Unglesbee. 

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