The board directors of Kenneth Cole Productions has approved a project to go private put forward by the designer and founder, Kenneth Cole.
Under the definitive merger agreement, KCP Holdco, a company purposely created for the deal, will buy the approximately 54 percent Cole does not own in the company at $15.25 per share. The transaction implies an enterprise value of about $245 million.
The deal was cleared by a special committee of board directors, excluding Cole and Paul Blum. Cole is the chairman of the board and Blum is the company's chief executive. The agreement was also approved by the full board, excluding Cole, who abstained.
The proposal still has to be approved by shareholders. The agreement contains a non-waivable condition that a majority of shares not owned by Cole approve the deal. Cole holds about 89 percent of voting rights.
Wells Fargo Bank and other parties entered a binding agreement to finance the transaction. Cole Family Holdco, a company created by Cole and a third party, will also provide financing.