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Liz Claiborne Sells Classic Brands

Liz Claiborne has announced the sale of its classic mid-tier brands, including Liz Claiborne, Monet and Kensie, for $328 million. The sale will allow the company, which will change its name, to reduce its debt and to focus on its high end brand portfolio.

Under the agreement, Liz Claiborne will sell rights to all the Liz Claiborne and Monet brands to JCPenney  for $288 million, which includes an advance of $20 million in exchange for the company's agreement to develop exclusive brands for the department store retailer.

In addition, Liz Claiborne sold its Kensie brands to Bluestar Alliance and completed the sale of its Dana Buchman brand to Kohl's Corp.earlier this week, with both transactions bringing in about $40 million.The company also agreed with Donna Karan International to an early termination of its DKNY Jeans and DKNY Active license.

Liz Claiborne will continue to be the exclusive supplier of jewelry to Kohl's for the Dana Buchman brand for two years; and exclusive supplier of jewelry to J.C. Penney for the Liz Claiborne and Monet brands.

"Over the past few years, we have worked diligently toturn this into a more efficient, dynamic, brand-centric, retail-based company, and today marks the culmination of these efforts," says William L. McComb, chief executive officer of Liz Claiborne. "At the close of these transactions, at a time when most economists in the world are now agreeing that major European and the US markets are facing significant risks of another recession, we will be a more appropriately levered, more capital efficient,growth-oriented company. As such, we are exploring options for a new corporate name that will better reflect our keen focus on building and growing our three global lifestyle brands - Juicy Couture, Lucky Brand and kate spade."

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