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Apax Funds to Acquire Cole Haan

- Partners with Jack Boys, who led Converse's transformation into a global lifestyle brand

NEW YORK and LONDON, Nov. 16, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Funds advised by Apax Partners ("Apax"), a global private equity firm, today announced that they have entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Cole Haan LLC, a leading designer and retailer of premium footwear and related accessories, from NIKE, Inc. for $570 million in cash.  The transaction is expected to close in early 2013.

Cole Haan, headquartered in New York, is an iconic American designer and retailer of premium men's and women's footwear, apparel and accessories.  Founded in 1928, Cole Haan's brand represents craftsmanship, style and innovation.  The Company sells through leading 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 affiliate brand of NIKE since 1988.

Apax is partnering with Jack Boys, who led the revitalization of Converse into a fast-growing global lifestyle brand.  During his tenure as CEO, Converse achieved significant growth in sales from $150 million to over $1 billion

Alex Pellegrini, a Partner in Apax's Retail & Consumer team, said, "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."

"The decision to divest of Cole Haan allows us to sharpen our focus on opportunities with the highest potential for strong returns, and to make sure the brands within the NIKE, Inc. portfolio are the most complementary to the NIKE Brand," said NIKE, Inc. President & CEO Mark Parker.

Apax has extensive experience in fashion apparel, footwear and accessories through current and previous investments including Tommy Hilfiger Corporation, an apparel retail company and one of the world's leading lifestyle brands, which was acquired by PVH Corp.  Apax also partnered with PVH in the company's successful acquisition of Calvin Klein.  The firm's Retail & Consumer team oversees current investments including rue21, Inc., a leading a leading specialty apparel retailer, and Advantage Sales & Marketing, the premier outsourced sales and marketing services to consumer packaged goods companies and retailers in North America. Internationally, funds advised by the firm are currently invested in New Look, a UK-based value fashion retailer and Takko, a value apparel retailer operating in Germany, Central Europe and Russia.  Prior Apax investments also include Tommy Bahama, Dollar Tree Stores and The Children's Place.

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

Notes to editors

About Apax Partners
Apax Partners is one of the world's leading private equity investment groups. It operates globally and has more than 30 years of investing experience.  Funds under the advice of Apax Partners total over $35 billion around the world.  These Funds provide long-term equity financing to build and strengthen world-class companies.  Apax Partners Funds invest in companies across its global sectors of Tech & Telecom, Retail & Consumer, Media, Healthcare and Financial & Business Services.

About NIKE, Inc.
NIKE, Inc. based near Beaverton, Oregon, is the world's leading designer, marketer and distributor of authentic athletic footwear, apparel, equipment and accessories for a wide variety of sports and fitness activities. Wholly-owned NIKE subsidiaries include Converse Inc., which designs, markets and distributes athletic footwear, apparel and accessories and Hurley International LLC, which designs, markets and distributes action sports and youth lifestyle footwear, apparel and accessories; For more information, visit www.nikeinc.com and follow @Nike.

For further information, please contact:

Apax Partners

Ben Harding / Georgiana Brunner
Tel: +44 (0)20 7872 6401 / 6429
Email: [email protected]

US enquiries
Kekst and Company
Todd Fogarty
Tel: +1 212 521 4854
Email: [email protected]

NIKE, Inc.
Mary Remuzzi
Tel: +1 (503) 532 8767
[email protected]

Apax Partners LLP, 33 Jermyn Street, London SW1Y 6DN. Tel: +44 (0)20 7872 6300. www.apax.com

A limited liability partnership. Registered in England No OC303117. Registered office as above.

 

SOURCE Apax Partners

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