>> Tommy Hilfiger is said to be among those planning to privately invest in Michael Kors, WWD reports. Kors is reportedly seeking as much as $500 million to fund its global expansion plans, and hired Morgan Stanley to sell an equity stake of approximately 25 percent. The round of financing has since closed and is expected to be finalized next month.
Hilfiger, who put money into Belstaff earlier this month, declined to comment on whether he would invest in Kors, too, but did say: “Anybody would be crazy not to invest in it. Michael Kors is the next major global player in my eyes.”
If Hilfiger were to participate in this new round of funding for Kors, he would be joining his previous investment partners Joel Horowitz, Silas Chou, and Lawrence Stroll, all of whom were the original investors in Tommy Hilfiger (The latter two, Chou and Stroll, bought Michael Kors in 2003 for a reported $100 million.). “For over 20 years, we’ve invested in things together," Hilfiger noted. "If they ask me, of course I’ll invest [in Kors]."
Kors, which generates about $900 million in volume, is expected to do private placement funding followed by an initial public offering right away; some are estimating the company could be valued at over $2 billion. This strategy is notable because there hasn't been an American designer IPO in some time — Donna Karan and Ralph Lauren did theirs in the late '90s. More recently, brands have typically been bought up by larger players or conglomerates.