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Fast Retailing buys majority stake in L.A. denim line J Brand

December 03, 2012|By Shan Li
  • Jeans from L.A. denim line J Brand.
Jeans from L.A. denim line J Brand. (J Brand )

Japanese giant Fast Retailing Co. will buy a majority share of Los Angeles denim line J Brand as part of an effort to expand into the U.S. market.

Fast Retailing will pay $290 million, in addition to $10 million in advisory fees, to acquire an 80.1% share of the high-end jean brand, according to Women's Wear Daily.

The acquisition will give Fast Retailing, which owns the contemporary brand Uniqlo, an entree into the premium denim market in the U.S. and adds a luxury label into its lineup of brands, according to a company statement.

Founded in 2005, J Brand has grown from a denim brand into a sportswear collection known for sleek and minimal designs. In 2010, Chief Executive and founder Jeff Rudes sold a controlling stake of the company to Star Avenue Capital, a joint venture of Irving Place Capital and Creative Artists Agency.

Rudes, who is staying on as chief executive, lauded the move as an opportunity for J Brand to become a global brand.

The acquisition "has the potential to generate great expansion opportunities in all major markets around the world," he said.

The deal, which is awaiting regulatory approval, is expected to close by the end of the year.

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