Luxury Apparel Company Vince Selects Banks for Fall IPO: Sources

(Reuters) – High-end sportswear brand Vince is close to filing for an initial public offering, according to two sources close to the situation.

Vince, owned by St. Louis-based fashion company Kellwood Co, which is controlled by private equity firm Sun Capital, has selected Goldman Sachs Group Inc and Robert W. Baird & Co to lead the IPO, the sources said on Monday.

Bank of America Corp (BAC.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), UBS AG (UBSN.VX: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) are also involved in the float, which could raise about $200 million, the sources said.

The IPO could come in September, they added.

Goldman Sachs, Bank of America and JPMorgan declined to comment. Vince, Sun Capital, Baird and UBS could not be reached for comment.

Vince sells items such as $300 cashmere sweaters and $1,000 leather jackets at upscale department stores including Macy’s Inc’s (M.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) Bloomingdale’s chain, Barneys, Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue (SKS.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), as well as its own boutiques.
The IPO comes amid strong share performance for retail companies, including Michael Kors Holdings Ltd (KORS.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz). Shares of the fashion house have tripled since the company’s IPO in late 2011. They were up 1.7 percent to $61.38 at midday Monday.

Retail stocks have been on a tear this year, outperforming the broader market, with the S&P Retail Index up 19 percent. Earlier in the year there were fears that a sluggish job market would hold back consumer spending.

Ralph Lauren Corp (RL.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) shares hit a 52-week high last week, and luxury chains Saks and Nordstrom Inc (JWN.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) are up 13 percent and 11 percent, respectively, this year.

In 2006, Kellwood acquired Los Angeles-based Vince and related assets for $75 million.

Earlier this year, Kellwood CEO Jill Granoff took over as Vince CEO from Vince co-founders Rea Laccone and Christopher LaPolice. Granoff is a former CEO of Kenneth Cole and has also served as an executive at Liz Claiborne.

Kellwood said last week that it has been looking at selling yoga clothing maker Zobha. It may also be selling its urban-focused line Baby Phat, according to a media report.

Photo courtesy of Vince