“Proenza Schouler is pushing ahead with a new set of backers,” WWD revealed on Monday. Those backers? The brand’s founders Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez, as well as “a new group of private investors have bought back.” The new deal – which sees private equity firm Castanea Partners, as well as investors, including John Howard, chief executive officer of Irving Place Capital, and Andrew Rosen – exit the equation.
WWD is reporting that Mudrick Capital Management, a New York-based private equity firm that specializes in distressed investments, will lead the new group of investors, alongside the label’s founders.
The news comes on the heels of reports early this month that the New York-based womenswear brand was engaged “in advanced talks with several potential investors who could inject new money into the struggling business and buy out existing stockholders,” including Castanea Partners, which revealed in June 2015 that it had taken a minority stake in the brand for an undisclosed sum.
The private equity firm joined an existing stable of PS investors, led by Theory founder Andrew Rosen, who had entered into the PS picture in 2011 by buying a 47.5 percent stake in the company from Permira, the European private equity firm that had acquired the stake from the Valentino Fashion Group, which first invested in Proenza in 2007.
McCollough and Hernandez join what might be something of a budding new micro-trend, in which designers are taking back their labels. In March, Kering and Stella McCartney announced that they would end their 17-year partnership, with the British designer behind agreeing to buys back the 50 percent owned by the French luxury goods conglomerate. The parties did not disclose financial terms for the deal, but it was revealed that the buy-back was made possible by a clause in the joint venture agreement giving McCartney the option to re-purchase Kering’s stake before March 31, 2018.
Kering also confirmed this spring that it was in talks to sell its 51 percent stake in Christopher Kane back to the British designer.