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Authentic Brands Group and DSW Acquire Camuto Group for $375M

Camuto Group, the company behind globally recognized brands like Vince Camuto and Jessica Simpson footwear, has two new co-owners.

Authentic Brands Group (ABG), a global brand development and marketing firm, and footwear retailer DSW Inc. on Wednesday announced they have entered into a joint agreement to purchase Camuto Group for $375 million.

According to the announcement, the partnership between ABG and DSW will focus on licensing the brands across existing lines in footwear, handbags and jewelry, as well as new category development with a focus on building out each brand’s lifestyle offerings.

As part of the agreement, ABG will take a majority stake in the intellectual property of the Camuto Group’s proprietary brands, including Vince Camuto, Louise et Cie, Sole Society and Enzo Angiolini. The acquisition reportedly will boost ABG’s portfolio, which includes Nine West, Frye and Tretorn, by significantly growing the company’s stake in the footwear and accessories market and increasing its brands’ collective value to more than $8.3 billion in annual retail sales.

DSW will acquire Camuto Group’s operations and the licensing rights for Jessica Simpson footwear, Lucky Brand and Max Studio footwear and handbags. The company also will acquire joint-venture participation in the ED Ellen DeGeneres and Mercedes Castillo brands.

The acquisition is a growth opportunity for DSW, making it one of the largest footwear companies in North America, with capabilities in product design, development, sourcing, production and marketing.

“With our expertise and infrastructure, we’re confident this partnership will expand our platform to pursue new market share opportunities and become integral to more consumer purchase decisions,” said DSW Inc. CEO Roger Rawlins.

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Camuto Group has been in flux since founder Vince Camuto died in 2015. Canadian shoe company Aldo ended discussions to acquire Camuto Group in 2017. It hired a turnaround advisor the following year.

The Camuto Group will maintain its existing Connecticut headquarters and will manage its dedicated wholesale and third-party design relationships independently of DSW’s retail business. Camuto Group CEO Alex Del Cielo will continue to lead the Camuto unit.

“The partnership with DSW and ABG creates an unmatched opportunity for the Camuto Group to expand the platform for our leading lifestyle brands,” Del Cielo said. “By leveraging DSW’s resources, we will strengthen our wholesale business and bring to market an exciting and world-class, direct-to-consumer experience that will grow our brand equity and customer demand across additional points of sale. I believe our founder Vince Camuto would be as excited about the transaction as we are and view the opportunity as a way to extend the company’s reach and realize his vision.”