LONDON, May 4 /PRNewswire/ -- Sun Capital, The 180 Group, and Emerisque Capital today completed the acquisition of the Lee Cooper business (the "Company") from Matalan, PLC for a total purchase price of GBP30.5 million. (Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20050504/LEECOOPER) Lee Cooper is a designer, distributor, and marketer of branded jeans, clothing, accessories, and footwear. Lee Cooper, one of the original jeans brands dating back to 1908, has a long history of providing innovation and denim excellence to its customers. The Company holds leading positions in its European markets and has distribution arrangements covering over 40 countries worldwide. Mr. Ajay Khaitan, current Chief Executive of Emerisque, will become CEO of the Company and has recruited a number of leading industry apparel professionals to join the strong incumbent Lee Cooper team. Mr. Khaitan commented, "Lee Cooper is a global brand that has incredible authenticity and expertise in Denim. It is a leading denim brand in each of its markets. It also has a loyal consumer following, built up over many years by consistently delivering excellent quality products. The brand has been a strong and prevalent force in the marketplace for over 97 years, and my team looks forward to further evolving what Lee Cooper means to its current and new customers. We have significant plans for the Company, and we are eager to begin our path into the future." John King Chief executive of Matalan said, "We are delighted to have sold Lee Cooper to a strong management team whose skills, when added to those already present in the business, will allow the brand to grow and to develop. It is a very good brand and we are pleased to have secured an ongoing relationship with Lee Cooper which will ensure that our customers continue to have access to the brand for years to come." Sun Capital Partners, Inc. is a leading private investment firm focused on leveraged buyouts and investments in market leading companies that can benefit from its in-house operating professionals and experience. Sun Capital affiliates invest in companies typically with the number one or two market positions in their industry, long-term competitive advantages and significant barriers to entry. Sun Capital affiliates have invested in more than 80 companies since their inception in 1995 with combined sales in excess of $20.0 billion. On a consolidated basis, Sun Capital's portfolio companies would rank in the top 100 of Fortune Magazine's listing of the 500 largest companies in the United States. The 180 Group, LLC ("180") is a premier private equity firm focused on value investment opportunities in the middle-market. The firm typically purchases control positions in businesses with strong franchises, which may be experiencing difficulties due to industry specific or general economic conditions, non-recurring events, illiquidity, or difficulties with debt or equity stakeholders. 180 invests in companies that have a clear plan to significantly increase profitability and growth. 180 often partners with incumbent or new management teams and has a demonstrated track record of closing complicated transactions and creating significant cash flow and revenue growth. Emerisque, is a unique investment vehicle for the acquisition of underperforming mid market traditional sector businesses in Europe. The new members of the management team include Ajay Khaitan from Emerisque, Mark Young, previously Financial Director at Kenwood and ex-Umbro, Andy Rigg, previously Marketing Director at Ben Sherman and Puma, Gilbert Ohayon, ex EMI & CBS Fox, and Phillip Worrall, previously Ben Sherman and Dunhill Sourcing Director.
SOURCE Lee Cooper