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Published
Feb 19, 2013
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Will Lee Cooper soon join the Iconix portfolio?

Published
Feb 19, 2013

Sun European Partners, the European subsidiary of U.S. investment fund Sun Capital Partners, is preparing to sell off Lee Cooper. While it seems certain the jeans brand is up for sale, Women's Wear Daily announced that there are two potential buyers, the Iconix Brands and Authentic Brands groups.

Lee Cooper could change hands soon. Image, Lee Cooper.



Neither of the potential buyers have commented on the reports in WWD. Contacted by directly by FashionMag.com, Iconix Europe also declined to comment but did not deny the information. Iconix is associated with TLC in Europe, is currently in the process of expanding its brand portfolio. The group already owns Roca Wear, Zoo York, London Fog, etc., and recently took control of Umbro and Buffalo David Bitton.

The group would indeed be in the best position to make this acquisition. Lee Cooper already operates under distribution and production licenses for individual markets (Linda Textiles for France, Ireland and Switzerland) and would fit quite easily into the Iconix system (see our article here).
Authentic Brands is the outsider in this potential takeover. It operates in a similar manner (Marylin Monroe license, tennis brand Prince, etc.) by acquiring brand assets, which it then licenses for production and distribution in different markets.
According to WWD, the total assets of Lee Cooper could be worth as much as 35 to 45 million euros.

The jeans brand is present in 88 countries through 45 licensees. Two years ago, its sales totaled about 250 million euros, according to Andy Dunkley, CEO of Lee Cooper Brands.

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