ABG, DSW Complete Camuto Group Acquisition

Footwear and accessories retailer DSW and Authentic Brands Group have completed the acquisition of Camuto Group.

Following the transaction, DSW will acquire all of Camuto Group’s global production, design infrastructure and sourcing, including operations in China and Brazil as well as a distribution center in New Jersey. ABG and DSW have also completed the acquisition of many of Camuto Group’s IP rights under a new alliance.

Brands covered in the partnership include Vince Camuto, Louise et Cie, Sole Society, CC Corso Como and Enzo Angiolini, among others. Camuto Group is best known for the Vince Camuto brand and the licenses of Lucky Brand and Jessica Simpson. The alliance will see the acquired brands extend across footwear, handbags and jewelry, as well as other categories.

ABG will oversee the growth, marketing strategy and marketing of the venture, while DSW will pay royalties on the new partnership based on the sales of footwear, handbags and jewelry. Based on its 40 percent ownership in the business, DSW will gain back a significant portion of the royalties it will pay and earn royalties paid by licensees.

"Our DSW, Shoe Company, Shoe Warehouse and leased footwear businesses have been steadily gaining market share through store expansion and comparable sales growth, and we've had recent successes in innovating experiences and service offerings," says Roger Rawlins, chief executive officer, DSW. "However, to ensure the health of our business for years to come, we needed to think in the long-term and set a course for greater market share by owning a design and sourcing infrastructure to gain greater control of our product assortment. This acquisition allows us to capture more footwear transactions in new points of sale including at our own industry-leading DSW retail network and now in wholesale, brand-owned direct-to-consumer, as well as in licensing and international franchising."

Camuto Group was paid roughly $341 million. DSW will be responsible for approximately $238 million of the purchase price. DSW will operate Camuto Group as a standalone business under its current management team, overseen by Alex Del Cielo, and will provide liquidity and operational oversight as Camuto Group realigns.

"We are excited to partner with Camuto Group and Authentic Brands Group on this tremendous opportunity to drive profitable top-line and bottom-line growth at DSW Inc.," says Rawlins. "Today marks the beginning of an exciting transformation for our business, as we cast a vision for the future that positions us as one of North America's largest designers, producers and retailers of footwear."

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