Apax Partners Acquires Cole Haan

Apax Partners Acquires Cole Haan

Apax Partners has completed the acquisition of Cole Haan, a designer and retailer of premium footwear and related accessories, from NIKE.

Cole Haan is a designer and retailer of premium men’s and women’s footwear, apparel and accessories.  The company sells through department stores, 108 domestic Cole Haan stores, 68 international stores across Canada, China and Japan and its online site www.colehaan.com.  Cole Haan has been a wholly-owned brand of NIKE since 1988.  Cole Haan was founded in 1928 and is headquartered in New York (www.colehaan.com).

With the closing of the acquisition, Jack Boys has been named Chief Executive Officer of Cole Haan.  Mr. Boys previously served for 10 years as the CEO of Converse and led its revitalization into a fast-growing global lifestyle brand.  Prior to Converse, Mr. Boys created and implemented the “Never Stop Exploring” brand and merchandise strategy that led to the successful turnaround and aggressive revenue growth for The North Face brand.  In addition, Mr. Boys has years of experience, including serving in senior executive capacities, at Avia, an athletic footwear company, LeCoq Sportif, an apparel company, and CVEO Corporation.

“I am thrilled to work with the Cole Haan team to build on the brand’s incredible legacy.  From the time Trafton Cole and Eddie Haan launched the business 85 years ago, Cole Haan has established a history of outstanding craftsmanship, innovative design and exceptional quality.  Now, as an independent company, we have an exciting opportunity to expand upon the Cole Haan tradition, deliver new, consumer-driven products and grow as a lifestyle brand with a global footprint,” said Mr. Boys.

“We are very pleased to be partnering with Jack and the employees of Cole Haan as the company embarks on the next chapter of its growth,” said John Megrue, Chief Executive Officer of Apax Partners U.S. and Partner in the Retail & Consumer team. “Cole Haan is an iconic brand, and we look forward to working together in support of its continued expansion.”

Apax Partners has $35 billion of capital under management and operates across the United States, Europe and Asia.  Sectors of interest include: technology & telecom; retail & consumer; media; healthcare; and financial & business services. The firm is based in London, UK (www.apax.com).

“We are excited to partner with Jack to grow the Cole Haan brand in the U.S. and internationally.  Cole Haan is an iconic brand with broad consumer appeal and we believe the brand has even greater opportunities in the future.  We look forward to investing in the company to achieve this growth,” said Alex Pellegrini, a Partner on Apax’s Retail & Consumer team.

Jefferies & Company acted as financial advisor and provided financing to Apax.  Kirkland & Ellis provided legal advice and Ernst & Young provided accounting and tax advice.

© 2013 PEPD • Private Equity’s Leading News Magazine • 2-4-13

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