Nike Sells Starter To Iconix Brand Group
November 15, 2007
BEAVERTON, Ore. (15 November, 2007) – NIKE, Inc. (NYSE:NKE) today announced that it has reached a definitive agreement to sell its Starter brand to Iconix Brand Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: ICON) for $60 million in cash. Nike expects the transaction to be completed in December.
“We’re pleased to have found a buyer committed to investing in and growing the Starter brand,” said NIKE, Inc. President and CEO Mark Parker. “Under Nike’s ownership, Starter has significantly strengthened its brand and product design and development capabilities. It is a difficult decision to divest any business, but we have found the right buyer and this is the right choice for Nike. Iconix is a well-respected brand builder and manager.”
Nike decided to divest Starter, acquired in 2004, following a strategic review of the company’s Exeter Brands Group, of which Starter is the main business. As part of the company’s long-term growth strategy, Nike is optimizing its portfolio of subsidiary brands, which contribute more than $2 billion in annual revenues, to ensure the company is investing in the greatest growth opportunities with the highest returns. Exeter is the smallest subsidiary in Nike’s portfolio. Starter’s growth potential relative to other brands in Nike’s portfolio, such as Converse, Cole Haan, Hurley and Nike Golf, resulted in the decision to divest. Nike also recently announced its intent to explore the sale of Nike Bauer Hockey. That exploration process is still under way.
Founded in 1971, Starter pioneered the league licensed apparel business through agreements with Major League Baseball, the National Basketball Association, the National Hockey League and the National Football League. Starter is distributed primarily in the United States through Wal-Mart, and internationally through licensees.
Neil Cole, Chairman and CEO, Iconix, stated, “Starter is an iconic brand that diversifies our portfolio of holdings by moving us into the athletic apparel, team sports and athletic footwear categories. It is a brand with a great deal of growth potential, both in the United States and around the world, and one which I am confident that Iconix can quickly add a lot of value. We are very excited to be working with Wal-Mart on this project and believe that with their reach and our marketing expertise Starter has the potential to become one of the largest athletic apparel and footwear brands in the world.”
About NIKE, Inc.NIKE, Inc. based near Beaverton, Oregon, is the world's leading designer, marketer and distributor of authentic athletic footwear, apparel, equipment and accessories for a wide variety of sports and fitness activities. Wholly owned Nike subsidiaries include Converse Inc., which designs, markets and distributes athletic footwear, apparel and accessories; NIKE Bauer Hockey Inc., a leading designer and distributor of hockey equipment; Cole Haan, a leading designer and marketer of luxury shoes, handbags, accessories and coats; Hurley International LLC, which designs, markets and distributes action sports and youth lifestyle footwear, apparel and accessories and Exeter Brands Group LLC, which designs and markets athletic footwear and apparel for the value retail channel.
About Iconix Brand Group, Inc.Iconix Brand Group Inc. owns, licenses and markets a growing portfolio of consumer brands including CANDIE'S (R), BONGO (R), BADGLEY MISCHKA (R), JOE BOXER (R), RAMPAGE (R), MUDD (R), LONDON FOG (R), MOSSIMO (R), OCEAN PACIFIC (R), OP (R), DANSKIN (R), ROCA WEAR(R), CANNON (R), ROYAL VELVET (R), FIELDCREST (R) and CHARISMA (R). The Company licenses it brands to a network of leading retailers and manufacturers that touch every major segment of retail distribution from the luxury market to the mass market in both the U.S. and around the world. Iconix, through its in-house advertising, promotion and public relations agency, markets its brands to continually drive greater consumer awareness and equity.