Coach Snaps Up Stuart Weitzman for $574M

Stuart Weitzman is about to begin another new chapter.

After weeks of speculation, Coach Inc. said today it was acquiring the brand for $574 million from Sycamore Partners. Coach said it would make an initial cash payment to Sycamore, with up to $44 million in additional payments over the next three years based on revenue targets. Weitzman’s revenue last year was $300 million.

The move comes only a year after Weitzman was sold to Sycamore as part of its Jones Group deal, and it shows the power of the brand in a competitive marketplace.

“Stuart Weitzman is a leading American luxury designer footwear brand with a solid growth trajectory and further significant domestic and international development potential,” said Victor Luis, the firm’s CEO, in a statement. “The size, scope and vibrancy of the Stuart Weitzman brand, along with the continuity of the management team, allows for a seamless transition to Coach’ ownership as we continue to focus [on the company’s] brand transition.”

For his part, Weitzman said he was particularly excited about the deal, Coach’s first-ever acquisition, during a time of growth for his namesake brand.

“In Coach, we have found a strategic partner that respects our culture and offers the scale, resources and global business acumen for us to realize our full potential,” the veteran designer said in a statement.

Weitzman has seen an annual compounded growth rate of 10 percent over the last five years, the firms said, thanks to its multi-pronged growth strategy. The combination of buzzy celebrity marketing and hot shoes, like the Nudist, translated into a particularly strong 2013 for the brand. Just last month, Weitzman received FN’s marketer of the year award.

The deal comes after Brown Shoe Inc. and private equity firm Advent International were also said to be pursuing the firm.

For Coach, it comes during a critical time for the New York-based company, which has seen challenges of late. Creative director Stuart Vevers, who joined in 2013, is busy trying to remake the namesake brand.



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