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Barbara Bradley Baekgaard, founder of Vera Bradley (Nasdaq: VRA), is the latest in a series of entrepreneurs highlighted at ACG New York Women of Leadership events. Photo credit: Robert Blumenfeld

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After Weeks of Rumors, Apax Partners Buys Cole Haan for $570M

Nike put the shoe, handbag and clothing retailer up for sale in May

Private equity firm Apax Partners will buy retailer Cole Haan from Nike Inc. (NYSE: NKE) for $570 million.

The deal is expected to close by early 2013. Apax was the expected buyer for the brand, Mergers & Acquisition reported on Nov. 6. Nike purchased Cole Haan in 1988 for $80 million.

Cole Haan makes shoes, handbags and clothes. The brand, based in Scarborough, Me., and New York, has more than 80 retail stores.

“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 within the Nike, Inc. portfolio are the most complementary to the NIKE Brand,” said NIKE, Inc. president and chief executive Mark Parker.

In May, Nike announced its decision to divest the Umbro and Cole Haan brands to sharpen its focus on the Nike, Jordan, Converse and Hurley brands. Iconix Brand Group Inc. (Nasdaq: ICON) bought Umbro, which maker soccer-related products, for $225 million in a deal announced Oct. 24.

The London and New York-based buyer’s portfolio companies include Orange Switzerland, Epicor Software Corp. and Takko fashion. Apax’s funds invest in financial services, healthcare, media, retail and technology.

 

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