November 26, 2012, 10:29 AM

A private equity firm picks up Cole Haan from Nike

Apax Partners will pay $570 million for the shoe and accessories brand.

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Apax Partners, a private equity firm, will acquire the Cole Haan brand from Nike Inc. for $570 million in cash, the companies have announced. Cole Haan shoes and handbags are sold via colehaan.com, 176 Cole Haan retail stores and through other web and store retailers. The companies expect the deal to close early in 2013.

Nike announced earlier this year that it wanted to sell the Cole Haan brand. “The decision to divest of Cole Haan allows us to sharpen our focus on opportunities with the highest potential for strong returns, and to make sure the brands with the Nike Inc. portfolio are the most complementary to the Nike brand,” says Mark Parker, Nike president and CEO.

Nike, No. 72 in Internet Retailer’s Top 500 Guide bought Cole Haan in 1998. Nike is also closing a deal to sell its Umbro athletic wear brand to Iconix Brand Group Inc.

Apax Partners’ previous fashion investments include Tommy Hilfiger Corp., Calvin Klein and rue21 Inc. Jack Boys, who served as CEO of athletic shoe brand Converse from 2001 to 2009, will lead the Cole Haan brand.

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