All Change at Jil Sander

Retail and consumer specialist firm Change Capital Partners is to sell Jil Sander, a German fashion house, to Onward Holdings, a Tokyo-listed clothing group and its European subsidiary, GIBO, for an equity value of €167m.

Change took hold in April 2006 after acquiring the business for an undisclosed sum from Italian fashion giant Prada.

A turnaround investment, the company’s operating EBITDA has been transformed from negative €12.9m in 2005 to positive €6.1m in 2007. It has strengthened its distribution network in the US, Europe and Japan, extended its product range, developed a strong wholesale operation and created a strong licensing position in fragrances, eyewear and lingerie/beachwear.

Jil Sander now has 26 directly-operated stores, with new store openings in Japan, Germany and Italy.

Stephan Lobmeyr of Change said: “When we acquired Jil Sander from Prada, we saw a tremendous opportunity to re-establish the profitability of this iconic brand. Under our ownership Jil Sander has now achieved a successful turnaround and we have laid the foundations for significant growth in the coming years.”

Gian Giacomo Ferraris, CEO of Jil Sander, said: “Change Capital Partners’ input into Jil Sander has been invaluable and came at a crucial time. The brand’s image has been restored under the creative directorship of one of the pre-eminent designers of this generation, Raf Simons, and there are tremendous opportunities to enter unexplored markets and further enhance the product range. We look forward to the ongoing success of Jil Sander under the new ownership of Onward.”