Nike Sells Cole Haan to Apax

Ending months of speculation, Nike said Friday it’s selling Cole Haan to Apax Partners for $570 million.

The transaction is expected to be complete in early 2013.

“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 portfolio are the most complementary to the Nike Bramd,” said Nike Inc. president and CEO Mark Parker.

Apax is partnering with former Converse chief Jack Boys as part of the deal.

“We are excited to partner with Jack Boys to grow the Cole Haan brand in the U.S. and internationally,” said Alex Pellegrini, a partner in Apax’s retail and consumer team. “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.”

Apax emerged victorious even as TPG Capital and former Cole Haan chief Matt Rubel were said to have serious interest in the brand.

For more, check back later.