Coach, Inc. a New York design house of modern luxury accessories and lifestyle brands, announced it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Kate Spade & Company. Under the terms of the transaction Kate Spade shareholders will receive $18.50 per share in cash for a total transaction value of $2.4 billion. The transaction represents a 27.5% percent premium to the unaffected closing price of Kate Spade’s shares as of December 27, 2016, the last trading day prior to media speculation of a transaction. The transaction has been unanimously approved by the Boards of Directors of Kate Spade & Company and Coach, Inc.
Victor Luis, Chief Executive Officer of Coach, Inc. said, “Kate Spade has a truly unique and differentiated brand positioning with a broad lifestyle assortment and strong awareness among consumers, especially millennials. Through this acquisition, we will create the first New York-based house of modern luxury lifestyle brands, defined by authentic, distinctive products and fashion innovation. In addition, we believe Coach’s extensive experience in opening and operating specialty retail stores globally, and brand building in international markets, can unlock Kate Spade’s largely untapped global growth potential. We are confident that this combination will strengthen our overall platform and provide an additional vehicle for driving long-term, sustainable growth.”
Craig A. Leavitt, Chief Executive Officer of Kate Spade & Company, said, “Following a thorough review of strategic alternatives, reaching an agreement to join Coach’s portfolio of global brands will maximize value for our shareholders and positions Kate Spade for long-term success as we continue our evolution into a powerful, global, multi-channel lifestyle brand. We look forward to working with Coach’s leadership team to leverage their expertise across the business as we continue to innovate and build long-term loyalty with consumers and expand across our product category and geographic axes of growth.”
Kevin Wills, Coach’s Chief Financial Officer added, “Due to the complementary nature of our respective businesses, we believe that we can realize a run rate of approximately $50 million in synergies within three years of the deal closing. These cost synergies will be realized through operational efficiencies, improved scale and inventory management, and the optimization of Kate Spade’s supply chain network. At the same time, to ensure the long-term viability and health of the Kate Spade brand, and similar to the steps Coach has itself taken over the last three years, we plan to reduce sales in Kate Spade’s wholesale disposition and online flash sales channels. Therefore, the reduction in profitability from the pullback in these channels will be offset by the realization of these substantial synergies. As a result, we expect that the acquisition will be accretive in fiscal 2018 on a non-GAAP basis, and will reach double-digit accretion by fiscal 2019, also on a non-GAAP basis.”
Mr. Luis concluded, “The acquisition of Kate Spade is an important step in Coach’s evolution as a customer-focused, multi-brand organization. The combination enhances our position in the attractive global premium handbag and accessories, footwear and outerwear categories, bringing product, brand positioning and customer diversification to the portfolio, and establishing scale in key functions with the resources to invest in talent and innovation. In addition, we believe the Kate Spade brand will benefit from our best-in-class supply chain and strong corporate infrastructure.”
The combination of Coach, Inc. and Kate Spade & Company will create a leading luxury lifestyle company with a more diverse multi-brand portfolio supported by significant expertise in handbag design, merchandising, supply chain and retail operations as well as solid financial acumen. Coach’s history and heritage, multi-channel, international distribution model, and seasoned leadership team uniquely position it to drive long-term sustainable growth for Kate Spade. Coach is focused on preserving Kate Spade’s brand independence as well as retaining key talent, ensuring a smooth transition to Coach, Inc.’s ownership.
The transaction is not subject to a financing condition. Coach has secured committed bridge financing from BofA Merrill Lynch. The $2.4 billion purchase price is expected to be funded by a combination of senior notes, bank term loans and approximately $1.2 billion of excess Coach cash, a portion of which will be used to repay an expected $800 million 6-month term loan. The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter of calendar 2017, subject to customary closing conditions, including the tender of a majority of the outstanding Kate Spade & Company shares pursuant to the offer and receipt of required regulatory approvals.
Coach’s financial advisor is Evercore Group L.L.C. and its legal advisor is Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP. Kate Spade & Company’s financial advisor is Perella Weinberg Partners LP and its legal advisor is Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP.