Rafaella Sportswear Inc, a designer, sourcer and marketer of women's career and casual sportswear separates, has signed an agreement to sell substantially all of its assets to Rafaella Apparel Group Inc in a deal set to close by the end of June 2005.

Rafaella Apparel Group is a new company that will be controlled by an affiliate of Cerberus Capital Management LP, a private New York-based investment firm.

The current shareholders of Rafaella will have a continuing ownership interest in the new company.

Rafaella has been in the women's apparel business since 1982 and markets its products, which include pants, sweaters, blouses, t-shirts, jackets and skirts, primarily under the Rafaella brand.

The company has over 700 customers representing more than 5,000 individual retail store locations. Its principal customers are department and specialty stores and off-price retailers.