How Perry Ellis Became the Center of an Unexpected Fashion Bidding War

Perry Ellis International might be one of the most popular fashion firms on the selling block — even if it never planned to end up there.

Just weeks after the four-decade-old company — owner and licensor for a range of apparel, footwear and accessories brands, including its namesake label — accepted founder and chairman George Feldenkreis’ surprise $437 million bid to take it private, Perry Ellis received a new takeover offer by Randa Accessories Leather Goods LLC. (Feldenkreis made the initial go-private proposal in February. The firm announced it accepted the offer on June 16. The purchase price of $437 million represents a premium of 21.6 percent to Perry Ellis’ unaffected closing stock price on Feb. 5.)

The nonbinding unsolicited proposal from privately held Randa — submitted on Sunday — seeks to acquire 100 percent of the fully diluted common stock of Perry Ellis for $28 per share. That offer is 50 cents higher than what shareholders are expected to receive from the Feldenkreis merger should it close as planned in the second half of the calendar year.

“The special committee of the Perry Ellis board, in consultation with its independent financial and legal advisers, will carefully review and evaluate Randa’s proposal to determine the course of action that … is in the best interest of the company and all Perry Ellis shareholders,” the company said in a release Monday.

Randa is a major producer and licensee for brands in the leather goods, footwear and accessories space — including Dickies, Columbia, Guess and Timberland. Similarly, Perry Ellis is a big player in the licensing space — working with Nike, Callaway, PGA Tour and other popular names.

“Randa believes we are the right [acquirer] of Perry Ellis and that our compelling proposal provides shareholders with a superior alternative to the previously agreed insider transaction,” Randa CEO Jeffrey Spiegel said. “We are excited by the opportunity to grow our portfolio of brands through the addition of globally recognizable names such as Perry Ellis and [its owned-brand] Original Penguin. With our long, successful history as a licensee … we believe we can continue and grow the relationships with Perry Ellis’ inbound licensors for the benefit of all stakeholders in those relationships.”

Randa was reportedly in discussions to acquire Perry Ellis before its special committee recommended that the company accept its founder’s bid.

Perry Ellis remains subject to the Feldenkreis merger agreement and has advised its shareholders that they need not take any action at this time.

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