Liz Claiborne to Acquire Kate Spade

Brent Felgner, Staff Staff, November 13, 2006

Liz Claiborne will purchase fashion design house Kate Spade LLC for about $124 million, including the retirement of debt. The deal is expected to close during the current fourth quarter.

Positioned as "accessible luxury," and targeting women across all age groups, the Kate Spade and Jack Spade brands generated sales of $84 million in fiscal 2006 through high-end department stores, its own retail stores and outlets, and e-commerce.

Kate Spade ended its home textiles licensing agreement with Springs Industries 18 month ago and, to date, has not re-entered the business, although it earlier said it had plans to do so. A spokesperson for Liz Claiborne did not immediately respond to inquiries seeking to clarify Kate Spade's future in home.

"Our job now is to maintain the essence of Kate Spade while driving it to the next level — something we have done quite successfully with other acquired brands in our portfolio," said Trudy Sullivan, president of Liz Claiborne. Reporting $1.37 billion in sales for the third quarter last month, Liz Claiborne licenses an extensive soft home line through American Pacific Enterprises.

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