Private equity firm buys Cole Haan for $570 million

Posted Nov. 16, 2012, at 6:32 p.m.

SCARBOROUGH, Maine — A private equity firm has acquired Cole Haan, which employs about 140 people in Scarborough, from Nike in a cash deal worth $570 million.

The buyer, Apax Partners, is a global private equity firm with past investments in apparel and footwear companies, including Tommy Hilfiger Corp.

Apax is partnering with Jack Boys, the former CEO of Converse. During Boys’ tenure as CEO, Converse increased sales from $150 million to more than $1 billion, according to a media release from Apax.

Attempts to reach Apax were not successful.

Nike announced six months ago that it planned to seek buyers for Cole Haan and its soccer brand Umbro in an attempt to streamline its product lines.

Apax is expected to close on the deal in early 2013.

Nike acquired Cole Haan, which is headquartered in Scarborough and New York City, in 1988 for $80 million.

Cole Haan moved its headquarters from Yarmouth to Scarborough last summer. The company employs 140 people in Maine, a Nike spokesperson previously told the Bangor Daily News.

The company has 80 retail locations and posted $535 million in sales in Nike’s last fiscal year, a 3 percent increase from the year before, according to The New York Times.

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