Calvin Klein buys back licenses

Calvin Klein Inc. is buying back licenses to bring its collections back in-house. The company, owned by Philips-Van Heusen, is expected to take over Warnaco’s shares of Calvin Klein Collection licensee Confezioni Moda Italia Srl, or CMI. Warnaco was due to begin producing Collection in 2008, which would have marked the first time it made designer-level ready-to-wear.

According to WWD, “Warnaco will instead acquire the rights to operate Calvin Klein Jeans accessories stores in Europe, Asia and Latin America; ck Calvin Klein accessories boutiques in Europe and Latin America; Calvin Klein Jeans e-commerce for the Americas, Europe and Asia, and Calvin Klein Jeans accessories e-commerce for Europe, Asia and Latin America through 2044. It will also enter a sublicense and distribution agreement for Calvin Klein Golf through Windsong Golf LLC for Asia.”

Warnaco is expected to pay $38.5 million to owner Philips Van Heusen, or PVH, according to a PVH statement. “The Collection business would be expected to have no material financial impact on PVH. The company would acquire CMI free of all debt and would pay Warnaco an amount based on the net working capital of CMI.” By acquiring CMI, CKI would regain complete control over the Calvin Klein Collection business. The transaction is targeted to close in mid-January 2008.

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“We are thrilled with the prospect of bringing our men’s and women’s Calvin Klein Collection business back in house and operate the brand directly. We are committed to the long-term objective of building the Calvin Klein Collection brand into one of the world’s top global luxury businesses,” said Tom Murry, President and Chief Operating Officer, Calvin Klein, Inc.

Mr. Murry continued, “We are very fortunate to have creative directors Francisco Costa (women’s Collection), Italo Zucchelli (men’s Collection), and Ulrich Grimm (men’s and women’s Collection shoes and accessories), as well as a very highly regarded brand image and significant brand awareness around the world.”

Phillips-Van Heusen Corporation is one of the world’s largest apparel companies. It owns and markets the Calvin Klein brand worldwide. It is the world’s largest shirt and neckwear company and markets a variety of goods under its own brands, including Kenneth Cole, Perry ellis and Timberland.