Change Capital Sells Jil Sander

TOKYO, Sept 1 (Reuters) – Japanese apparel maker Onward Holdings Co (8016.T: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) said on Monday it bought unlisted Violine, a holding firm that has Jil Sander luxury brand under its wing, for 167 million euros ($244 million) to boost its overseas presence.

Onward bought all the shares in Luxembourg-based Violine, which posted 125.7 million euros in sales in the year ended January 2008, from private equity firm Change Capital Funds LP, Change Capital (Nominees) Ltd and Julia Management GmbH & Co.

Tokyo-based Onward plans to finance the acquisition with cash on hand and bank borrowings, a company official said.

Onward aims to announce how the deal will affect its annual earnings as soon as possible, he said.

The company in July forecast an operating profit of 20.6 billion yen ($190 million) for the current business year ending Feb. 28, 2009, up 10.6 percent on the year.

Prior to the announcement, shares in Onward closed down 3.9 percent at 1,142 yen, underperforming the Nikkei average .N225, which fell 1.8 percent. (Reporting by Kiyoshi Takenaka; Editing by Quentin Bryar)