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Sycamore Splits Jones Group into Four Retailers; Big Internal Reorganization

On Tuesday, Sycamore Partners announced that it will undergo a seismic internal reorganization, splitting The Jones Group into four autonomous retailers: the Nine West Group, a jeanswear company (which will be named later), Jones New York, and the Kasper Group.

Sycamore Partners previously announced that both Stuart Weitzman and Kurt Geiger would also operate as independent business units. Stefan Kaluzny, managing director of Sycamore Partners, said, “We believe that this structure will allow each of these businesses to better serve their customers and achieve long-term success. As independent companies, decision-making will be more closely aligned with the needs of the individual brands and our more than 10,000 associates around the world. We are excited to partner with the leadership of each of these companies to invest in their growth and help them achieve their full potential.”

The Nine West Group and the jeanswear company will still issue financial reports under the banner of Nine West Holdings, which will take over the various service functions previously governed by The Jones Group.

After shopping itself around for months, the Jones Group 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’ footwear brands include Stuart Weitzman, Kurt Geiger and Nine West.

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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.

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.”

The internal reorganization brings a series of personnel shifts with it. Kathy Nedorostek will be Chief Executive Officer of the Nine West Group, which will include footwear, handbags and jewelry. Jack Gross, formerly the head of jeanswear business operations for the last twenty years, will now be Chief Executive Officer of the jeanswear company. Aru Kulkarni and George Sharp will remain in their respective positions as heads of Jones New York. And Gregg Marks will be Chief Executive Officer of the Kasper Group, which he has led for the last thirty years.