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GUESS IS BUYING RAG & BONE

INTERVIEW
Guess Inc. and brand management firm WHP Global are partnering to acquire Rag & Bone. Under the deal, Guess will purchase all operating assets of the New York-based jeans brand, while a 50-50 joint venture controlled by Guess and WHP will acquire the brand's intellectual property.

Paul Marciano, co-founder and chief creative officer, of Guess, said: “Rag & Bone is a brand I have always loved and respected. It is a brand well known for its pre-eminence in American fashion that over the years has stayed true to its roots and founding values, with an unwavering commitment to quality and authenticity. This acquisition is the first one in the 43-year history of Guess, and I am thrilled to welcome Rag & Bone to our family.
Andrew Rosen, chairman of Rag & Bone, sees the deal as the beginning of an exciting new chapter, combining forces with a larger international fashion company. He believes it offers a great opportunity to elevate the brand globally, leveraging the unique styles and expertise of both companies.

Guess will contribute $56.5 million to the deal, along with a potential earn-out of up to $12.8 million. Carlos Alberini, CEO of Guess, believes the transaction will diversify Guess's portfolio with complementary price points, allowing them to leverage their global distribution network for the growth of Rag & Bone.

Despite Guess's past challenges, including a #MeToo scandal and resistance to change, the company remains resilient with over 1,000 directly operated stores globally. The partnership with Rag & Bone is expected to bring earnings per share accretion in the first year and create long-term value for shareholders.

The involvement of Nicolai Marciano, tasked with launching a new line of denim targeting Gen Z, adds a next-gen perspective to the collaboration. The challenge will be whether Guess can effectively sell contemporary-priced fashion at scale, given its focus on accessibility and ongoing turnaround efforts. Rosen's presence is expected to contribute to the success of this venture.