Shareholders Approve Jones Deal

Shareholders Approve Jones Deal
Wesley Card

Shareholders of The Jones Group Inc. voted in favor of Sycamore Partners’ $15-a-share bid on Monday in a transaction that values the company at $2.2 billion. The deal is expected to close shortly.

“We are pleased to have received such positive shareholder support for the merger with Sycamore Partners,” Jones CEO Wesley Card said in a statement. “We believe this transaction represents the best outcome for The Jones Group, our shareholders and the loyal customers of our brands, and we expect a seamless transition following the transaction close.”

Based on a preliminary vote assessment, the company said about 79.1 percent of Jones’ total outstanding shares were represented at the meeting, with approximately 98.8 percent of those voting in favor of the merger agreement.

The Jones Group had nearly 78.9 million shares of common stock outstanding as of the record date for the special meeting.

“The Jones Group board of directors and management team have worked diligently to advance the best interests of all of the company’s shareholders and we are grateful for the support received for the board’s recommendations,” Card added.

Sycamore, in conjunction with its takeover of Jones Group, is preparing for the potential sale of some of the fashion company’s brands by carving out divisions and raising debt in the individual segments.

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Nine West Holdings, which includes Nine West Co. and Jeanswear Co., will represent the surviving corporation after the buyout and split up are complete.

Jones put itself up for sale in the summer, following pressure from activist investor Barington Capital Group LP to focus on its shoe brands and to cut down its non-core fashion brands. After months of speculation, Sycamore launched a bid for the firm in December.

Citigroup Global Markets Inc. is advising Jones Group, and Peter J. Solomon Co. is advising the company’s board of directors.