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Stirling Square Capital Partners and Sirius Equity announce the acquisition of Jeckerson, the Italian premium sportswear brand, for €140m

May 2008

Stirling Square Capital Partners (“SSCP”), the pan-European private equity firm, and Sirius Equity (“Sirius”), the retail and branded luxury goods investment specialist, announced today that they have signed an agreement to acquire Jeckerson (www.jeckerson.com), the Italian premium sportswear brand, from Blue Fashion Group.

The management buy-out values Jeckerson’s enterprise and equity at €140m and €125m, respectively, and marks the end of a 5-month competitive process run by Corporate Value of Marco Colacicco. Interbanca and MPS Capital Services acted as joint debt underwriters in the transaction.

Established in 1995, Bologna-based Jeckerson is a leading brand in Italy’s sportswear segment and the market leader in men’s premium trousers. The iconic Jeckerson trousers are sold in 600 independent multi-brand retailers throughout Italy. The company’s policy of highly selective distribution ensures that its products are only sold in partner stores which serve consumers with the extended Jeckerson range.

Over the past four years, Jeckerson has outperformed the broader Italian apparel market. This has been driven by its distinctive design, construction and fit, consistent quality and a loyal customer base that has led retailers to experience best-practice sell-through in excess of 90%. The company has recently launched a strategy of international growth focussed on selected export markets.

SSCP and Sirius are backing the existing management team led by Gianni Cantarelli in a two-pronged plan focussed on continuing brand extension in Italy and new sales development internationally. Jeckerson will also enhance its recognition through an increase in its marketing and advertising activity and develop its own retail presence selectively.

SSCP sourced and structured the transaction and has taken majority control of Jeckerson. Robert Bensoussan, founder of Sirius and most recently CEO of Jimmy Choo, will be non-executive chairman of Jeckerson. Beside SSCP and Sirius, a subsidiary of Goldman Sachs International has also invested in the transaction. Massimo Piombini, Vice President Global Sales of the Bally Group, will join the Board of Directors of Jeckerson.

Gregorio Napoleone, who led the transaction for SSCP, said: “We are delighted to partner with the Jeckerson team and support them in their next phase of development. We look forward to working with Jeckerson’s entrepreneurial management on the transformation of this business from Italian champion to international leader”.

Robert Bensoussan said: “We have been impressed by the performance of Jeckerson and believe it has a strong base on which to build further market, channel and category expansion. We are excited about working with the management team, contributing our vision and experience towards the realization of the development plan”.

Gianni Cantarelli, CEO of Jeckerson, said: “With the active support of our new shareholders and directors, we expect Jeckerson to quickly mature into a more established international player while continuing to outperform its reference markets. This transaction provides a unique strategic fit for our company at this juncture”.

Stirling Square was advised by Eidos Partners, Pavia e Ansaldo (corporate) and Clifford Chance (banking).

Sirius and Goldman Sachs International were advised by Travers Smith and Gianni, Origoni e Partners.

Interbanca and MPS Capital were advised by DLA Piper.

- ENDS -

Notes to Editors:

For further information contact:

Nigel O’Connor, Financial Dynamics:

Tel: + (44) 20 7269 7105 / 07917 615 347
Email: Nigel.oconnor@fd.com

Stirling Square Capital Partners

Stirling Square Capital Partners is one of Europe’s leading mid-market private equity investors. SSCP seeks to invest in firms characterised by proven business models, market leadership, high cross-border development potential and talented management teams. SSCP targets European transactions between €50m and €500m from a wide spectrum of industries and specialises in complex, cross border deals. Since inception in September 2002, SSCP has led twelve leveraged acquisitions across a variety of international markets. The partners at SSCP collectively bring over 80 years of private equity experience.
www.stirlingsquare.com

Sirius Equity

Sirius Equity was founded in 2008 by Robert Bensoussan and Jim Sharp to make investments in the branded luxury goods and retail sectors. In just six years as investor and CEO, Robert led the transformation of Jimmy Choo from a small iconic shoe brand into an international luxury accessories brand, increasing its value almost ten-fold. Robert was previously CEO of Christian Lacroix and Gianfranco Ferrè and Chairman of Radley Bags. He also helped to restructure Burberry and organised the Joseph and Ferrè LBO transactions. With a core group of investors, Robert and Jim work with founders and management teams in these sectors and bring the strategic, development and financial skills and resources necessary to enable them to achieve the next stage of growth.