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.”

The acquisition of Jil Sander is the latest in a line of European purchases made by Onward recently. Purchases include Iris, which manufactures high-end shoes for Marc Jacobs, Chloe, John Galliano and Viktor & Rolf, and Joseph, one of the UK’s leading luxury apparel retailers with more than 60 sales points internationally.