Iconix wins Lee Cooper
Iconix's expansionist fever has spread to the jeans world. The group already owns Starter, Roca
Wear and London Fog and recently purchased Umbro and Buffalo David Bitton. And today they
added Lee Cooper to their fold.
Since 2005, the jeans brand — born in 1908 in England — was owned by the investment
fund Sun European Partners, based in Luxembourg and an affiliate of Sun Capital Partners in
Europe. Iconix said it had acquired the brand for 72 million dollars (54 million euros) in cash via
its subsidiary in Luxembourg, Iconix Luxembourg Holdings Sarl.
Lee Cooper already operates with distribution and production licenses for individual markets
(Linda Textiles for France, Ireland and Switzerland) and would fit quite easily into the Iconix
“We are excited to add another truly global brand to our portfolio,”
said Neil Cole, CEO of Iconix Brand Group in a statement. “With the addition of Lee Cooper,
we expect our international business to represent approximately 33% of our overall business in
2013. With Lee Cooper's portfolio of international licensees we look forward to leveraging these
new relationships to further grow our worldwide footprint.”
Because even if the potential of Lee Cooper in the United States remains modest, the brand
will clearly enable Iconix to expand its international presence. The group has indeed shown its
intention to become less dependent on its domestic market.
Lee Cooper has 35 licensees that distribute the brand in 80 markets together with powerful
players like Landmark in the East and the Future Group in India. According to Iconix, the label
should bring in $14 million in royalties in 2013. The same press release also states that the
brand's sales were approximately 500 million dollars (375 million euros). The latest figures cited by brand management mentioned a turnover of around 250 million euros in 2010.
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