Kenneth Cole Goes Private | Designer Spends on Company Shares

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Kenneth Cole

Kenneth Cole

It’s been in the works for a few months, but it’s now official. Kenneth Cole has bought enough shares in his namesake fashion house to take back control of the firm, making it a private corporation once again.

The deal is estimated to be worth $245 million, and reportedly saw Cole paying $15.25 a share, up from his initial offer of $15 a piece.

Personally I think it’s fitting to see Cole taking back total control of the firm he founded in 1982. He was instrumental in the brand’s expansion from a single signature line to a collection of diffusion brands selling handbags, footwear, apparel, and other accessories.

The company has faltered in recent times, with sales dipping in the last two quarters. However Cole says he’s confident that his company will bounce back and grow as a private entity.

I believe it is increasingly difficult to develop this type of culture in a public company context, where the public markets are increasingly focused on short-term results,” he wrote to his board members. “I am convinced that private ownership is in the best interests of the business and the organization and that this proposal is in the best interests of the shareholders.

Do you think privatization can resurrect Kenneth Cole?

[Image Source: Manfred Werner-Tsui/Wikipedia Commons]