The Associated Press May 6, 2010, 4:17PM ET

Jones Apparel buys stake in Stuart Weitzman

Jones Apparel Group Inc. will acquire a majority stake in shoemaker Stuart Weitzman LLC for $180 million, the clothing company said Thursday.

Under the terms of the deal, Jones Apparel will make cash payments to Stuart Weitzman shareholders, which include private-equity firm Irving Place Capital.

Jones Apparel already owns brands such as Jones New York, Nine West, Anne Klein and Easy Spirit.

At the end of 2012, Jones Apparel will buy the remaining 45 percent of Stuart Weitzman, based on the company's value at the time.

Stuart Weitzman, which has net revenue of $193 million during the most recent fiscal year that ended Jan. 2, is known for its high-end shoes and purses.

Designer Stuart Weitzman will continue as executive chairman of his eponymous brand while current president Wayne Kulkin will remain in his role as well.

The deal is expected to close within 30 business days.

Jones Apparel shares fell 85 cents, or 4.1 percent, to 20.01 in late afternoon trading Thursday.


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