NexCen Brands Inc has bought the Bill Blass Couture business, even though it is currently trying to sell the Bill Blass brand which it already owns.

"As we continue to explore strategic alternatives, including the sale of our Bill Blass brand, we believe that owning Bill Blass Couture will maximise the potential sale value of the overall business," explains Robert W D'Loren, CEO of NexCen Brands.

He adds: "Bill Blass continues to be a very important and highly regarded brand in fashion.

"Our acquisition of Bill Blass Couture provides the company with greater control of the future of the overall Bill Blass brand.

Under the deal announced on Friday (11 July), wholly-owned subsidiary NexCen Fixed Asset Company LLC acquired Bill Blass Ltd LLC from Michael Groveman and Carly Andrews Inc for a nominal sum.

NexCen will assume around $425,000 in net liabilities, and write off $950,000 in marketing expenses loaned to Bill Blass Couture.

Last month NexCen, which licenses and franchises brands including The Athlete's Foot and Shoebox New York, said it had cut about 10% of its total workforce in New York and Georgia in a move that will save around $3.5m a year.

The company engaged NM Rothschild & Sons Ltd to explore strategic options, including the possible sale of its Bill Blass apparel line and Waverly home furnishings unit.

It also reached an agreement with its lender, BTMU Capital Corp, to restructure its borrowing facility.