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Guess and WHP Cut Deal to Buy Rag & Bone

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Guess Inc. and brand management firm WHP Global are teaming up to buy Rag & Bone.

Under terms of the deal, Guess will buy all of the operating assets of the New York-based jeans brand. Separately, a 50/50 joint venture controlled by Guess and WHP will acquire the brand’s intellectual property.

Paul Marciano, cofounder and chief creative officer, of Guess, said: “Rag & Bone is a brand I have always loved and respected. It is a brand well known for its preeminence in American fashion that over the years has stayed true to its roots and founding values, with an unwavering commitment to quality and authenticity. This acquisition is the first one in the 43-year history of Guess, and I am thrilled to welcome Rag & Bone to our family.

“I look forward to working with Andrew Rosen and the talented team at Rag & Bone to pursue the brand’s product and market expansion internationally,” Marciano said.

Rosen, a fashion and investment veteran who is chairman of Rag & Bone, said: “Today marks the beginning of an exciting new chapter as Rag & Bone joins forces with a much larger international fashion company. It’s a great opportunity for our team to take the brand to the next level, blending our unique styles and respective expertise to create new possibilities for Rag & Bone on a global scale.”

The sale is the latest major development at the brand in the last eight months: Marcus Wainwright, who cofounded the business with David Neville in 2002, stepped down as chief brand officer last July.

Rag & Bone has 34 stores in the U.S., two doors in the U.K. and numerous wholesale accounts.

Sales last year tallied about $250 million with adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization of $18 million.

Guess will contribute $56.5 million to the deal plus an earn out that could go as high as $12.8 million.

Carlos Alberini, chief executive officer of Guess, said the transaction would diversify the company’s portfolio with complementary price points.

“We look forward to partnering with WHP Global to build on Rag & Bone’s heritage,” Alberini said. “Guess has an incredible platform with a strong global distribution network and outstanding licensee partners that will enable us to power the growth and expansion of the Rag & Bone business. We expect the transaction to deliver earnings per share accretion in the first year and strong value creation for our shareholders for years to come.”