Iconix buys Lee Cooper brand to grow international business

Wed Feb 20, 2013 8:46pm IST

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REUTERS - Iconix Brand Group Inc (ICON.O) acquired British denim label Lee Cooper to grow its international business and raised its 2013 forecast to reflect the new business.

Iconix, which licenses shoe and clothing brands to retailers and manufacturers, said it paid $72 million in cash for the Lee Cooper brand.

"(The purchase) is an opportunity to take what is largely a British brand and bring it into the United States," C.L. King & Associates analyst Steven Marotta told Reuters, adding that the purchase fits with Iconix's strategy for greater international exposure.

Iconix has attempted to grow international sales over the last four years through a series of brand acquisitions and joint ventures in China, India, Europe and Latin America.

In August 2011 the company bought the global rights to the Ed Hardy brand in a deal that raised its stake in the label to 85 percent.

Lee Cooper licenses casual wear, footwear and accessories under its namesake brand. The brand is sold in over 80 countries and represents about $500 million in annual global sales.

Iconix, which also owns brands such as Candie's, Rocawear and London Fog, said it purchased the label through its Luxembourg subsidiary -- Iconix Luxembourg Holdings Sarl.

The company said it now expects full-year 2013 revenue of $425 million to $435 million, up from its previous forecast of $415 million to $425 million.

Iconix sees 2013 adjusted profit in the range of $2.05 to $2.15 per share, above its earlier view of $2.00 to $2.10 per share.


Fourth-quarter profit fell to $26.1 million, or 37 cents per share, from $27.2 million, or 36 cents per share, a year earlier.

Excluding adjustments related to the accounting of convertible debt and other one-time items, Iconix earned 41 cents per share. Analysts on average were expecting profit of 37 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Revenue fell 11 percent to $85.1 million, but beat market estimates of $82.51 million.

Iconix also said its board authorized a program to repurchase up to $300 million of its stock over a three year period.

Shares of the company were down 2 percent at $23.95 on the Nasdaq on Wednesday morning.

(Reporting By Maria Ajit Thomas in Bangalore; Editing by Supriya Kurane)

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