£13.5m Judith Ripka sale to boost outreach

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US brand sold to omnichannel brand management firm Xcel Brands, Inc.

US jewellery brand Judith Ripka has been sold to brand management firm Xcel Brands, Inc. for US$22.5 million (£13.5m), with the hope of reaching more followers in "new ways".

Xcel Brands is an omnichannel brand management company, focused on retail sales -including licensing, distribution and marketing – across various distribution channel including bricks and mortar stores, online retail and TV shopping channels.

Xcel Brands has acquired the Judith Ripka brand and related intellectual property for a value of approximately $22.5 million comprised of $14 million (£8.4m) in cash, $6 million (£3.6m) in interest-free promissory notes due five years from the date of issuance, as well as 571,500 shares of Judith Ripka’s common stock.

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Xcel chairman and chief executive officer Robert W. D’Loren said: "We are excited by the opportunity to work with Judith Ripka and her distinctive designs; the Judith Ripka Brand embodies our core mission of delivering products of uncompromising quality. We see a tremendous potential for engaging Judith’s brand followers across new product categories, leveraging our omnichannel strategy. This acquisition satisfied all of our acquisition criteria; it’s strategic, synergistic, and accretive."

The eponymous Judith Ripka brand was founded in 1977, with Ripka the recipient of entrepreneurial and jewellery design awards. Her designs are sold by independent jewellers in the US, globally and online, as well as through QVC under the Judith Ripka Sterling brand. Judith Ripka Brand is currently distributed in over 200 stores in the US and generates approximately $140 million (£84m) in retail sales.

Ripka will remain the brand’s chief designer under Xcel’s ownership. She said of the acquisition: "This is an outstanding opportunity to cultivate our brand and reach our loyal followers in a new way. We deeply value our relationship with Robert D’Loren and look forward to joining him at Xcel. I’m thrilled to be part of the Company and believe that we are well positioned for the future."
 

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