Kenneth Cole Productions has appointed BofA Merrill Lynch as an advisor to assist it in evaluating a bid made by founder Kenneth Cole to take the company private.

Last week, Cole offered to buy the 53% stake in the company that he doesn't already own for US$15 per share in cash.

In a letter to the board, Cole said he is not interested in a sale of his stake in the company and, with 89% of the voting power, would be unlikely to vote in favour of any alternative sale, merger or similar transaction involving the company.

The committee formed by the company to assess the offer said it delivered a letter to Cole asking him to consider any alternative proposals. Cole responded that he did not intend to change his position.

BofA Merril Lynch will assess the offer and, if the special committee deems it appropriate, will assist it in considering any alternative transactions.