DSW, Authentic Brands Partner to Acquire Camuto Group for $375M
DSW Inc. announced on Wednesday that it has acquired the operations of Camuto Group, a footwear and accessory designer and developer responsible for the Vince Camuto brand and the footwear licenses for Jessica Simpson and Lucky Brand. In addition, DSW is teaming with brand development, marketing and entertainment company Authentic Brands Group (ABG) to acquire several intellectual property rights from Camuto Group. Between the two components of the deal, Camuto Group will receive $375 million, with $256 million of that coming from DSW. The deal is expected to close at the end of DSW's fiscal fourth quarter. The Camuto Group will maintain its existing Connecticut headquarters and will manage its dedicated wholesale and third-party design relationships independently of DSW's retail business. Camuto Group's CEO, Alex Del Cielo, will continue to lead the organization.
The partnership "transforms DSW into one of the largest footwear companies in North America, with industry-leading capabilities in product design, development, sourcing, production and marketing" DSW CEO Roger Rawlins said in a statement. Del Cielo said the partnership with DSW and ABG creates "an unmatched opportunity for the Camuto Group to expand the platform for our leading lifestyle brands. By leveraging DSW Inc.'s resources, we will strengthen our wholesale business and bring to market an exciting and world-class direct-to-consumer experience that will grow our brand equity and customer demand across additional points of sale."
Total Retail's Take: This merger sounds like a win-win to me. DSW picks up a healthy brand portfolio, new revenue opportunities in a larger market, and a new talent base from Camuto in design, sourcing, marketing and sales. DSW, which generated $2.8 billion in sales in 2017 and projects to be a $3.5 billion business after the addition of Camuto, said the acquisition will also enable it to expand its private-label capabilities, which account for approximately 10 percent of its current sales. Camuto Group benefits from joining DSW by being able to expand the platform it has for its lifestyle brands, strengthen its wholesale business, and improve its direct-to-consumer experience.