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DSW Snaps Up Camuto Group

DSW, Inc. has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire the Camuto Group, best known for the Vince Camuto brand and the footwear licenses of Jessica Simpson and Lucky Brand. Additionally, DSW, Inc. and Authentic Brands Group LLC have entered into a definitive agreement to acquire several intellectual property rights from the Camuto Group under a new partnership. Total consideration paid to the Camuto Group will be approximately $375 million.

The Camuto Group will maintain its existing Connecticut headquarters and will manage its dedicated wholesale and third-party design relationships independently of DSW’s retail business. Camuto Group’s CEO Alex Del Cielo will continue to lead the organization.

“The acquisition of Camuto Group is an exciting new growth opportunity for our company,” states DSW CEO Roger Rawlins. “This partnership transforms DSW, Inc. into one of the largest footwear companies in North America with industry-leading capabilities in product design, development, sourcing and production. With our expertise and infrastructure, we’re confident this partnership will expand our platform to pursue new market share opportunities and become integral to more consumer purchase decisions.”

“The partnership with DSW and ABG creates an unmatched opportunity for the Camuto Group to expand the platform for our leading lifestyle brands,” states Del Ciel. “Having collaborated with DSW for many years, we respect their ability to grow a business through strategic leadership and innovation. By leveraging DSW’s resources, we will strengthen our wholesale business and bring to market an exciting and world-class direct-to-consumer experience that will grow our brand equity and customer demand across additional points of sale.” Del Ciel adds, “I believe that our founder Vince Camuto would be excited about the transaction and view the opportunity as a way to extend the company’s reach and realize his vision with an organization he always respected.”

“We are thrilled to partner with DSW on this strategic purchase that significantly grows ABG’s stake in the footwear and accessories market,” states Jamie Salter, Chairman and CEO of ABG. “Camuto Group’s world-class sourcing arm combined with DSW’s operational expertise and ABG’s proven know-how in brand building and marketing, provide a strong foundation for long-term growth. Our partnership with DSW in particular is a game changer for ABG as we are now linked to a footwear authority whose sourcing and manufacturing expertise will extend across our portfolio.”

The acquisition of Camuto Group is expected to deliver several benefits to DSW, Inc.:

  • A healthy brand portfolio with attractive growth prospects in wholesale and direct-to-consumer that can leverage DSW’s expertise and infrastructure
  • Substantial growth in Camuto’s third-party licensing and international distribution business in partnership with ABG
  • New revenue opportunities from a larger addressable market
  • A strategic partnership with ABG that leverages their expertise in brand management and marketing across various brands and platforms
  • Immediate access to a talent base in design, sourcing, marketing and sales to support the growth of DSW’s exclusive brands over time.

Under the terms of the agreement, DSW, Inc. will contribute approximately $200 million to acquire all of Camuto Group’s global production, sourcing and design infrastructure, including operations in Brazil and China, and a new distribution center in New Jersey, in addition to existing working capital of approximately $100 million. DSW, Inc. will also acquire the licensing rights for the Jessica Simpson footwear business, as well as the footwear and handbag licenses for Lucky Brand and Max Studio. DSW, Inc. will also acquire joint venture participation in the ED Ellen DeGeneres and Mercedes Castillo brands currently managed by the Camuto Group.

DSW, Inc. will also contribute approximately $56M to acquire a 40-percent stake in the intellectual property of Camuto Group’s proprietary brands with ABG taking the majority state of 60 percent. Brands include Vince Camuto, Louise et Cie, Sole Society, CC Corso Como, Enzo Angiolini and others. The partnership will focus on licensing the brands across existing lines in footwear, handbags and jewelry, and new category development with a focus on building out each brand’s lifestyle offerings. ABG will hold a majority stake in the joint venture and will be responsible for the development, growth and global marketing of the brands.

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