Jones Apparel Group has entered into an agreement to acquire Stuart Weitzman Holdings, a privately-held designer and manufacturer of women's salon footwear and accessories.

The deal will see Jones make initial cash payments of around US$180m to selling shareholders, including Irving Place Capital, for a 55% interest in Stuart Weitzman, with the latter being the principal owner of the remaining 45% interest.

The selling shareholders will receive cash payments for their remaining interest at the end of 2012, based upon the value of Stuart Weitzman.

"With a world renowned business and notable brand recognition, Stuart Weitzman's shoes and handbags reach a loyal customer base that spans across generations," said Jones Apparel Group CEO Wesley Card.

"Our goal of providing strong brands and quality products to a wide range of consumers is furthered by having Stuart Weitzman join our company.  Together, with our expertise in execution and sourcing, Stuart Weitzman will continue to expand its reach as a leader in the upscale footwear market."

During the past five years Stuart Weitzman has added 20 full-priced stores and opened its first five outlet stores domestically.  Outside the US, it has opened its first seven shops, including flagship stores in Rome and Milan, while further expanding with the opening of 19 incremental licensed stores.

Stuart Weitzman will continue as executive chairman of Stuart Weitzman, which is a designer, manufacturer, wholesaler and retailer of women's shoes and handbags in around 60 countries. It owns and operates 38 retail stores in the US.

It realised net revenues of around US$193m for the year ended January 2, 2010.