US: Fifth & Pacific unveils name change, McComb to exit
Apparel giant Fifth & Pacific Companies will change its name to Kate Spade & Company this year to reflect its single-brand focus, with Craig Leavitt to take the helm.
Fifth & Pacific, formerly known as Liz Claiborne, said existing CEO William McComb is to step down from the role, and will be replaced by Leavitt, CEO of Kate Spade.
In addition, Fifth & Pacific COO and CFO, George Carrara, will be promoted to president and COO of Kate Spade & Company.
He will serve as CFO on an interim basis, but the company expects to name Thomas Linko, CFO and COO of Juicy Couture, as CFO of Kate Spade & Company in 2014 after the Juicy Couture wind down is substantially complete.
Deborah Lloyd will continue as chief creative officer of the renamed business.
The apparel giant said it expects to incur one-time non-cash severance charges of US$16m and cash severance charges of US$7m associated with the senior management transition.
Separately, Fifth & Pacific said it expects full-year adjusted EBITDA to be $125-130m, inclusive of Lucky Brand results and excluding the results of Juicy Couture, which it is selling to Authentic Brands Group for US$195m.
The company expects the $225m sale of Lucky Brand, which was announced last month, to close in the first quarter of 2014, and said the wind down of its Juicy Couture operations is "proceeding according to plan".
During the fourth quarter, Kate Spade direct to consumer comparable sales jumped 30%, while Lucky Brand saw direct to consumer comparable sales increase 5%.
Fifth & Pacific expects full-year adjusted EBITDA to range from $115m to $125m.
Commenting on the company's performance, McComb said: "2013 was a year of progress marked by continued industry leading growth at Kate Spade and significant progress in our efforts to unlock shareholder value.
"As I have said before, this is all about bringing Kate Spade to its full potential and we are optimistic about the brand's ability to deliver sizeable growth in 2014.
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