Aldo buys Vince Camuto as part of shoe brand merger

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Aldo, the privately held Canadian footwear company, has agreed to acquire the footwear and accessories business of Camuto Group, the business founded by fashion impresario Vince Camuto, who died in 2015.

The buyout will give Aldo, which makes its own shoes and sells them in thousands of stores around the world, a bigger footprint at a time when fashion brands seek to grow through mergers and acquisitions. The terms of the deal, which have been confirmed by the companies, have not been made public.

“This will create a very impressive, large-scale shoe operation,” said William Susman, managing director of Threadstone, an investment bank specializing in consumer and retail transactions, but is not involved in the deal. . “And given the trends in retail, I think the benefits are going to those with scale.”

Aldo’s takeover of the Vince Camuto brand is the latest transaction to reshape the fashion industry. Last week, Michael Kors announced the acquisition of Jimmy Choo for approximately $ 1.2 billion. And in May, Coach agreed to pay $ 2.4 billion to acquire Kate Spade.

Montreal-based Aldo was founded in 1972 by Aldo Bensadoun, “the son of a shoe merchant, grandson of a shoemaker,” according to the company’s website.

Mr. Bensadoun, now 78, has retired and the business is run by his son, David. But the eldest Mr. Bensadoun is still involved in the case. Earlier this year, he took the first meeting with representatives of the Camuto Group to discuss a deal.

Aldo opened its first store in the United States in 1993 and now sells shoes in more than 3,000 locations around the world. The company says it employs more than 20,000 people and more than 200 million people visit its stores each year. David Bensadoun, chief executive of Aldo, said the company has around $ 1.5 billion in revenue annually.

The Camuto Group was founded by Mr. Camuto, a quiet force in the fashion industry who founded the Nine West women’s shoe chain, and has collaborated with Banana Republic, BCBG and more.

The Vince Camuto brand sells shoes, bags, clothing and accessories for men and women. The Camuto Group, based in Greenwich, Connecticut, also produces footwear and clothing for brands such as the Jessica Simpson Collection, Tory Burch and Lucky Brand Jeans. Mr. Camuto’s family will continue to own and operate the clothing business.

Aldo is looking for a way to grow, said David Bensadoun.

“We had been looking for an acquisition target for 18 months, and Camuto was the best fit,” he said.

Mr Bensadoun said the company intends to keep the brands separate, so there are no plans to sell Vince Camuto items in Aldo stores.

For the Camuto group, the deal is a chance for the family to cash in. Mr. Camuto’s five children inherited the business after his death, and they were not interested in running the business.

“We had a shareholder base that was not really involved in the business,” said Alex Del Cielo, CEO of Camuto Group, who will remain in his role and report to Mr. Bensadoun. “It was an opportunity for them to leave the company and monetize their assets.”

Even as Aldo grows with this deal, Mr Bensadoun said the company has no ambition to join the ranks of publicly traded fashion houses seeking further growth through entering into deals. .

“We will never go public,” he said.

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