NEW YORK — NexCen Brands Inc. said it continues to engage in “active discussions” with several parties about the sale of Bill Blass.
Although classified as discontinued operations, Blass and the Waverly home brand brought in licensing revenues of $2.2 million in the third quarter of 2008, versus $4.8 million in the comparable 2007 quarter, the distressed brand management firm reported. Waverly was sold in September to Iconix Brand Group for $26 million and the assumption of future liabilities.
“Multiple parties have completed the due diligence and continue to be in active discussions with NexCen regarding the acquisition of Bill Blass,” the company said.
Final results for the third quarter are pending as the company continues to “assess and quantify” such issues as the planned disposition of Blass and the restructuring of its credit facility.
When NexCen disclosed the sale of Waverly in late September, Kenneth Hall, CEO of the troubled brand management firm, said the firm hoped to find a buyer for Blass and close the acquisition “in the near term.”
Hall said revenues from continuing operations in the third quarter ended Sept. 30 “are expected to have almost doubled compared with the same period of 2007.”
The $12 million in revenues from continuing operations in its franchise businesses in the third quarter is an 85 percent increase over the $6.5 million tallied in the year-ago period. However, third-quarter results for 2008 also include acquisitions completed in 2007, as well as two in January 2008. The completed acquisitions in 2007 include MaggieMoo’s and Marble Slab in February and Pretzel Time and Pretzelmaker in August. Shoe Box New York and Great American Cookies were acquired in January 2008.
Blass and Waverly were acquired in 2007.
NexCen said royalty income and other revenues were $7.1 million, versus $5 million in the third quarter of 2007. Franchise fee revenue of $400,000 fell by 73 percent from the $1.5 million in the year-ago quarter, but the company said it also signed franchise agreements bringing in $2.2 million in franchise fees in the quarter that can’t be recognized until all required services are performed. Those fees are included in the $5.5 million in deferred revenue for the period ended Sept. 30.