Nothing to See Here…

The new Tommy Hilfiger store on 5th Ave. will close at 6pm tonight, in order to get ready for a private party being hosted by private equity firm Apax Partners.

Maybe I’m just bored, but the news got my mind raicing. Could this party be related to a Women’s Wear Daily about how Apax is looking to either sell Hilfiger or take it public?

WWD wrote, in part:

At the moment, the lead candidate to acquire Hilfiger is said to be $2.4 billion Phillips-Van Heusen Corp., which has been openly on the prowl for acquisitions and proved with its 2002 purchase of Calvin Klein that it can successfully incorporate a large global brand into its business…

But buying Hilfiger could be a bit of a stretch for PVH, which has about $480 million in cash on hand. Sources said one option for PVH could be to structure a deal that resembled its acquisition of Calvin Klein, in which PVH used funds from Apax as well as some of its own money to buy the business. Apax then received a stake in PVH, which the equity firm sold when it bought Hilfiger in 2006.

So I emailed with an Apax insider, who unfortunately popped my scoop-ready bubble. He says that the party is to celebrate the firm’s 40th birthday, with a particular thank you to founder Alan Patricof (now running Greycroft Ventures). No comment on the possible sale of IPO of HIlfiger, however…