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Kellwood Acquires Vince

Kellwood Company and CRL Group, LLC, announced today the two parties have reached an agreement for Kellwood to acquire the assets of CRL Group, LLC, owner of the Vince(R) brand and trademark, according to Robert C. Skinner, Jr., chairman, president and chief executive officer of Kellwood Company. The CRL Group, LLC, is owned by John Paul Richard, Inc., Rea Laccone and Christopher LaPolice.

Based in Southern California, Vince is a contemporary women's sportswear collection. Known for luxe staples, Vince reflects a modern, casual lifestyle. Vince is sold at select specialty stores and luxury retailers such as Barneys, Bergdorf Goodman, Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, Nordstrom and Bloomingdale's.

Vince is expected to achieve sales in excess of $45 million in 2006. Rea Laccone will continue as chief executive officer and Christopher LaPolice as president of Vince. The company will operate as part of Kellwood's Western Region division.

"Vince is one of the premier collections in the contemporary women's market. We believe very strongly in the excellence of their management team led by Rea and Christopher. We have gotten to know each other over the past year, and have the same philosophy on how to build the Vince business. We both feel there are excellent opportunities to increase our penetration inexisting accounts as well as expand our international distribution," added Skinner.

The acquisition of Vince supports Kellwood's strategy to expand its marketing-focused portfolio with higher profile, upscale brand offerings. The transaction is expected to be completed by the end of October 2006.

"Christopher and I are thrilled with the success of Vince. We are confident that with Kellwood's support we will be able to realize the many plans we have for the brand," says Rea Laccone.

Kellwood was represented by Banc of America Securities on this transaction and CRL Group LLC was represented by The Sage Group, LLC.

Kellwood (NYSE: KWD), a $2 billion marketer of apparel and consumer soft goods, specializes in branded as well as private label products, and markets to all channels of distribution with product specific to a particular channel. For more information, visit http://www.kellwood.com.


The Sage Group acted as exclusive financial advisor to Vince.