Steve Madden to Acquire Betsey Johnson Brand

In What's New, Industry News by Accessories Staff

New York—In a restructuring deal that had been speculated about a month ago, Steven Madden Inc. announced Friday that the footwear and accessories company would acquire the Betsey Johnson brand.

Last month, Steven Madden stepped in and paid $27.6 million for the $48.8 million loan that the Betsey Johnson company defaulted on in April. Under terms of the restructure revealed today in exchange for paying $27.4 million to pay down the original $48.8 million loan that was in default when Steven Madden purchased it for $27.6 million, the company is getting “substantially all” assets owned and licensed by Betsey Johnson.  Steven Madden has been a licensee for Betsey Johnson’s Betseyville handbags and belts.

Edward Rosenfeld, Madden’s chairman and ceo, said the addition of the brand “offers meaningful growth opportunity.”

“Betsey Johnson is an iconic brand with a rabid consumer following, and we believe it offers meaningful growth opportunity for our business,” Rosenfeld said.

In addition to acquiring trademarks, intellectual property brand names and 10% equity in BJ Inc., which owns Betsey Johnson, the company also secured a $3 million loan through December 2015. Castanea Partners, who has partnered with Betsey Johnson and BJ LLC for the past three years, has agreed to support the Betsey Johnson business with a further equity investment. Under terms of a new license agreement, Steve Madden Inc. will also take over running Betsey Johnson retail stores in the United State, Canada, and London will manufacture and sell women’s apparel under the Betsey Johnson and Betsey Johnson Collection labels.

Steve Madden, found and creative design chief, added, “Betsey is my hero—one of the great American designers. I have always admired how everything she does is instantly recognizable—it looks, feels, radiates Betsey. We want to do whatever we can to continue her creative vision and make the Betsey Johnson brand bigger and better than ever.”

The 68-year-old Johnson is expected to remain on with her brand but her longtime friend and ceo Chantal Bacon recently announced she would be official retiring from her role.

In other Steve Madden news, songstress Katy Perry said she will be venturing into fashion, too, and plans to collaborate with Steven Madden Inc.

In addition to marketing products under its owned brands including Steve Madden, Steven by Steve Madden, Madden Girl and Big Buddha, the company is the licensee of various brands, including Olsenboye for footwear, handbags and belts, Elizabeth and James and l.e.i. for footwear and Daisy Fuentes for handbags.

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