NEW YORK, Dec 22, 2009 /PRNewswire-FirstCall via COMTEX/ -- Iconix Brand Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: ICON) ("Iconix" or the "Company"), today announced that it has partnered with The Licensing Company ("TLC") to further develop and expand the Iconix portfolio of brands in Europe through a newly formed subsidiary, Iconix Europe LLC.
As part of the transaction, an investment group led by TLC and Albion Equity Partners LLP acquired a 50% interest in Iconix Europe in exchange for $4 million and Iconix retained a 50% interest, along with a right entitling it to the first $6 million of distributions. Distributions above $6 million will be split 50/50 between the parties.
The business model of Iconix Europe will be similar to the Iconix strategy of signing traditional and direct-to-retail (DTR) licensing agreements for the Iconix portfolio of brands. There are 11 existing licensing agreements in the region.
Neil Cole, Chairman and CEO of Iconix, commented, "We are excited to be partnering with TLC, who are recognized as licensing experts in the European marketplace. With early signs of success in our recently formed international partnerships in China and Latin America, we have found that having local expertise with local resources around the world is instrumental to the success of rolling out our brands globally. International expansion remains an important initiative for our organic growth, and we look forward to working with TLC to grow our brands through this new venture."
Melvin Thomas, CEO and Co- Founder of TLC stated, "This is an important relationship for both TLC and the European Retail market place. We are excited to be partnering with Iconix who have clearly helped re-define the licensing and brand extension business globally. TLC is uniquely qualified and respected throughout Europe and we will be looking to translate the Iconix model and brand assets into real industry success through our local offices in London, Munich and Paris."
Iconix Europe marks the third international partnership for the Company. Iconix also has partnerships with Silas Chou's Novel Fashions in China, and with The Falic Group in Latin America. Including the forthcoming office of Iconix Europe, Iconix has locally based personnel in New York, Hong Kong, Panama City and London.
Iconix expects to record a pre-tax gain of approximately $5-7 million related to this transaction. Inclusive of this transaction and the Ecko acquisition, the Company now anticipates 2009 revenue to be $227-231 million from its previous estimate of $215-220 million. As previously disclosed, the Ecko acquisition will not be accretive in 2009 and therefore due to deal costs related to the Ecko acquisition in addition to slightly higher marketing expense, the Company expects to be at the higher end of its 2009 EPS guidance range of $1.17-$1.22
About The Licensing Company Limited (TLC)
The Licensing Company (TLC) is a privately held global licensing agency that specializes in creating long-term significant brand extension programs for some of the world's top brands. TLC was founded in London in 1996 by Melvin Thomas and Angela Farrugia with the goal of providing sensational results for its clients. Through its five strategically placed offices, New York, London, Tokyo, Munich and Paris, TLC currently boasts over 2,000 active licensing contracts, more than $2.8 billion in retail sales, and access to over 80% of the world's consumer marketplace. Among the world-class brands in TLC's portfolio are Coca Cola, National Trust, Jelly Belly, BIC, Cosmopolitan, Airwick, Woolite, Jim Beam, Kahlua and Malibu Rum.
About Albion Equity Partners LLP (Albion)
Albion Equity Partners is a financial investment company dedicated to supporting consumer facing businesses with significant intellectual property content and international growth opportunities. Albion is a significant shareholder in TLC.
About Iconix Brand Group, Inc.
Iconix Brand Group Inc. (Nasdaq: ICON) owns, licenses and markets a growing portfolio of consumer brands including CANDIE'S (R), BONGO (R), BADGLEY MISCHKA (R), JOE BOXER (R) RAMPAGE (R) MUDD (R), LONDON FOG (R), MOSSIMO (R) OCEAN PACIFIC(R), DANSKIN (R) ROCA WEAR(R), CANNON (R), ROYAL VELVET (R), FIELDCREST (R), CHARISMA (R), STARTER (R) and WAVERLY (R). In addition, Iconix owns an interest in the ARTFUL DODGER (R), ED HARDY (R) and ECKO (R) brands. The Company licenses its brands to a network of leading retailers and manufacturers that touch every major segment of retail distribution from the luxury market to the mass market in both the U.S. and around the world. Iconix, through its in-house advertising, promotion and public relations agency, markets its brands to continually drive greater consumer awareness and equity.
Safe Harbor Statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. The statements that are not historical facts contained in this press release are forward looking statements that involve a number of known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors, all of which are difficult or impossible to predict and many of which are beyond the control of the Company, which may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of the Company to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward looking statements. Such factors include, but are not limited to, uncertainty regarding the results of the Company's acquisition of additional licenses, continued market acceptance of current products and the ability to successfully develop and market new products particularly in light of rapidly changing fashion trends, the impact of supply and manufacturing constraints or difficulties relating to the Company's licensees' dependence on foreign manufacturers and suppliers, uncertainties relating to customer plans and commitments, the ability of licensees to successfully market and sell branded products, competition, uncertainties relating to economic conditions in the markets in which the Company operates, the ability to hire and retain key personnel, the ability to obtain capital if required, the risks of litigation and regulatory proceedings, the risks of uncertainty of trademark protection, the uncertainty of marketing and licensing acquired trademarks and other risks detailed in the Company's SEC filings, including the prospectus supplement relating to the offering. The words "believe," "anticipate," "expect," "confident," "will," "project," "provide," "guidance" and similar expressions identify forward-looking statements. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward looking statements, which speak only as of the date the statement was made. All forward-looking statements are qualified by these cautionary statements and apply only as of the date they are made. The Company undertakes no obligation to update any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
Iconix Brand Group
SOURCE Iconix Brand Group, Inc.