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Mergers & Acquisitions

Apparel Company Iconix to Go Private

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Published: June 28th, 2021
An affiliate of Lancer Capital will acquire the New York-based owner of consumer brands in a $585 million deal.

Apparel brands owner Iconix Brand Group Inc. (ICON) on June 11 agreed to go private in a $585 million deal with an affiliate of Lancer Capital LLC.

The affiliate, Iconix Acquisition Corp., will commence a tender offer to buy Iconix shares at $3.15 apiece in cash. The offer price is a 28.6% premium to Iconix’s last close of $2.45 per share on June 10. The company’s stock shot up 27.76% to $3.13 per share on the morning of June 11.

The sale comes almost a year after Iconix in July announced a strategic review, which explored a sale, merger and divestments, among other options.

“After a thorough and deliberative examination of all potential strategic alternatives, the board of directors determined that the transaction with Lancer provides the best value for our stockholders,” Iconix CEO Bob Galvin said in a statement on June 11.

New York-based Iconix, the owner or licensor of brands such as Joe Boxer, Candie’s, Mudd, Umbro, London Fog, Ocean Pacific and Mark Ecko, was the target of an activist campaign by U.K. sports retailer Sports Direct International plc. in 2018. The latter, which then had a 9% stake, said it wanted to discuss a variety of issues including Iconix’ strategic alternatives and direction. Iconix, in turn, said in a statement at the time that Sports Direct’s goal was to acquire the target, noting the activist retailer was “effectively seeking control of the company without paying a control premium.”

The two sides reached a cooperation agreement in which Sports Direct got the right to nominate two members to Iconix’s board. In exchange, Sports Direct canceled its proxy fight.

Iconix expected the Lancer deal, unanimously approved by the seller’s board, to close in the third quarter.

Ronald Orol contributed to this report

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