Shoe “warehouse” retailer DSW and a New York City private equity investor are acquiring Camuto Group, with plans to maintain the footwear firm’s main office in Greenwich.
DSW and Authentic Brands Group are paying $375 million for Camuto Group, created in 2001 by the late Vince Camuto and run today by CEO Alex Del Cielo.
The deal represents the pairing of a discount retailer in DSW which has large selections of shoes priced under $50, sold in its own stores as well as discount chains Stein Mart and Frugal Fannie’s; with Camuto Group focused on a target audience of women willing to spend in excess of $100 at upscale department stores like Lord & Taylor, Macy’s and Nordstrom.
Camuto Group sells footwear under the Vince Camuto brand as well as others, and under license with the Jessica Simpson brand and Lucky Brand. In addition to its Greenwich headquarters, Camuto Group has a distribution center in New Jersey and additional operations in China and Brazil.
Vince Camuto died in January 2015 in Greenwich of complications from prostate cancer, after having created the company in 2001 on the heels of building Nine West into a global brand alongside co-founder Jerome Fisher. Authentic Brands Group acquired Nine West this past July in a bankruptcy auction, a $340 million transaction that also included the Bandolino Group footwear business.
“The company’s expansion of its retail network and the opening of its New Jersey distribution center created significant liquidity and earnings pressure over the last two years,” said Jared Poff, chief financial officer of DSW, in a Wednesday conference call to review details of the deal. “Along with the unexpected passing of Vince Camuto himself, (this) led to the Camuto Group’s family decision to put the business up for sale.”
DSW is based in Columbus, Ohio, with the company operating more than 500 stores in the United States and Canada, including in Danbury, Fairfield and Stamford among 11 locations in Connecticut. The company lost $38.4 million in its second fiscal quarter that concluded in early August, with revenue up 16 percent to $794 million.
Camuto Group revenue totaled $435 million last year, with DSW also seeing the deal as diversifying its revenue channels.
“We have been looking at building out our infrastructure for quite a while, and we’ve done a lot of diligence through this transaction as well as through prior transactions,” Poff said. “Given some of the performance issues that Camuto has had over the last few years, as they opened up retail (stores) and then had to shutter that and as they tried to bring in new distribution in their online (sites) and really ran into some liquidity problems, it gave us a chance to opportunistically buy this for (an amount) that, I would say, is certainly an opportunistic price.”Read Full Article
Alex.Soule@scni.com; 203-842-2545; @casoulman