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Jones Group Bought by Sycamore

After shopping itself around for months, the Jones Group announced that it has accepted a buyout offer of $15 per share from Sycamore Partners, a private equity firm.

Jones owns and licenses more than thirty-five brands, including Gloria Vanderbilt, Rachel Roy, Easy Spirit, Anne Klein, Bandolino, Jessica Simpson, Givenchy and Jones New York sportswear.  Jones also sells jeanswear, jewelry and handbags. Jones’s footwear brands include Stuart Weitzman, Kurt Geiger and Nine West.

Jones Group is valued at $1.2 billion. As part of the just brokered deal, Sycamore will assume $1 billion in debt, bringing the total value of the sale to $2.2 billion.

Jones has struggled of late. More than a decade ago, its share value topped $40, but has steadily declined over the years. In response to the news of the buyout, its shares dropped another 2 percent.

The deal was was a complex one,  and this convolution often halted its slow progress. Originally, Jones Group intended to sell off its apparel division to the G-III Apparel Group, while sending the footwear division to Sycamore. However, G-III exited negotiations last month, prolonging a CitiGroup run auction that was expected to grab a much better price.

Sydney Kimmel, Jones Group chairman, said, “The business, which I founded nearly forty-five years ago, has expanded into a global portfolio of powerful brands. I am proud of our heritage and believe the Jones Group will thrive with our partnership with Sycamore.”