Inside Camuto Group’s $375M Deal With ABG and DSW

After months of speculation, Camuto Group has announced a unique acquisition deal with Authentic Brands Group LLC and DSW Inc.

Under the terms of the agreement, ABG will partner with DSW to acquire the intellectual property of Camuto Group’s brands. (ABG will take the majority stake of 60 percent, while DSW will acquire a 40 percent interest.)

According to a statement from DSW, the total value of the transaction is $375 million.

“This strategic arrangement preserves the Camuto Group operation, which will continue to service its current footwear partners, and provides a robust infrastructure for new brands and growth,” said Jamie Salter, chairman and CEO of ABG. “Our partnership with DSW links ABG to a footwear authority whose sourcing and manufacturing expertise will extend across our portfolio.”

Brands involved in the transaction include Vince Camuto, Louise et Cie, Sole Society, Enzo Angiolini and others. ABG and DSW will focus on licensing and expanding the brands across a range of categories.

As part of the agreement, DSW will also buy the licensing rights for Jessica Simpson footwear as well as Lucky Brand and Max Studio footwear and handbags. The Ohio company will also acquire “joint venture participation” in the ED Ellen DeGeneres and Mercedes Castillo labels.

FN first reported news of a potential marriage between Camuto, ABG and DSW in August. The industry has been buzzing about Camuto Group’s future since its deal with Aldo fell apart last year.

“The purchase of the Camuto Group operation transforms DSW into one of the largest footwear franchises in North America,” said Roger Rawlins, CEO of DSW. “In addition to the licensing benefits of our strategic partnership with ABG, this acquisition allows DSW Inc. to harness Camuto Group’s product development and wholesale capabilities while supporting its growth.”

This summer, ABG — owner and licensor for a range of lifestyle, celebrity and entertainment brands including Frye, Juicy Couture, Elvis Presley and Marilyn Monroe — reportedly beat out DSW and others to acquire the Nine West and Bandolino brands from their bankrupt parent firm.

Camuto Group’s late legendary founder, Vince Camuto, was also a co-founder of Nine West with the late Jerome Fisher and Wayne Weaver.

In a full-circle moment, the two companies will now both be under the same roof. (ABG tapped Fisher’s son’s company, Marc Fisher Footwear, as the licensing partner for Nine West.)

ABG said its overall brand portfolio, with the addition of Camuto, would now be valued at about $8.3 billion in annual revenues.

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