Sycamore To Buy Jones for $2.2 billion

Sycamore To Buy Jones for $2.2 billion

Jones Group Inc., owner of the Nine West and Jones New York fashion brands, said it’s selling itself to private-equity firm Sycamore Partners LLC for $15 a share.

That values the deal at $1.2 billion, or about $2.2 billion including debt, New York-based Jones said today in a statement. The deal is expected to close in the second quarter of next year and will take the company private.

Sycamore, based in New York, focuses on retail investments, including buyouts of Hot Topic Inc. in March and Talbots Inc. last year. Sycamore had teamed up with KKR & Co. to make a joint offer for Jones Group in earlier bidding rounds before KKR dropped out. Jones Group hired Citigroup Inc. about five months ago to evaluate options including a sale, people with knowledge of the matter said at the time.

Jones Group’s other brands include Anne Klein and Stuart Weitzman. It has struggled in recent years as department-store sales stagnated and those merchants focused more on exclusive brands.

The shares jumped 4.6 percent to $14.78 in late trading at 6:28 p.m. in New York, after the deal was announced. Through today’s regular close, the shares have increased 28 percent this year.