Steve Madden Snaps Up Schwartz & Benjamin

Fashion footwear maker Steve Madden today announced that it has acquired Schwartz & Benjamin Inc., the longtime family-owned business that specializes in licensed brands and private label shoes.

Steve Madden said the acquisition was completed for cash at closing plus an earn-out provision based on financial performance through Jan. 31, 2023, but it did not disclose exactly how much it shelled out for the company. Schwartz & Benjamin’s trailing 12-month net sales as of Dec. 31, 2016, were approximately $87.6 million, according to Steve Madden.

We are very pleased to complete the acquisition of Schwartz & Benjamin, a company known for its outstanding capability in designer and accessible luxury footwear,” Edward Rosenfeld, chairman and CEO of Steve Madden, said in a release. “We see opportunity to expand the business by combining Schwartz & Benjamin’s strengths — which include premier execution in the design and sourcing of high-quality footwear as well as a strong portfolio of brand partners — with our proven business model and infrastructure.”

Rosenfeld added that he was “particularly pleased” that Schwartz & Benjamin CEO Danny Schwartz, chief creative officer Barbara Schwartz and president and COO Steve Shapiro would remain on board at the firm.

We at Schwartz & Benjamin are excited to be joining forces with Steve Madden,” Danny Schwartz said in a release. “We are proud of our 93-year history of creating footwear that satisfies the needs of our brand partners, wholesale clients and consumers, and we look forward to continuing to do so for many years to come with the added support and resources of Steve Madden.”

Danny Schwartz also noted that the firm would operate as a stand-alone business with its current management team and employees.

The transaction is expected to be approximately neutral to EPS — excluding one-time transaction and integration costs — in fiscal 2017 and to be accretive thereafter.

Schwartz & Benjamin distributes its fashion footwear to wholesale customers, including department stores and specialty boutiques, as well as the retail stores of its brand partners. Schwartz & Benjamin’s current brand partners include Kate Spade, Rebecca Minkoff, Alice + Olivia and Avec Les Filles. The company also designs and sources private label footwear for various retailers.

Over the past few years, Steve Madden has earned a reputation as quite the acquirer in the footwear industry. Within the past 24 months, the company picked up bootmaker Blondo as well as fashion footwear labels Brian Atwood and Dolce Vita.

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