Jones Apparel Group has acquired Moda Nicola International, owner of women's wear line the Robert Rodriguez Collection, for US$28m.

The company said the acquisition of Robert Rodriguez, which makes evening wear and sportswear, will increase its presence in the contemporary market.

"We believe that now is the right time to be making an acquisition as our core brands and organisation are strong, and we are well-positioned for a new phase of growth," noted Jones Apparel's president and CEO Wesley Card.

MNI generated net revenues of around $17m last year from the Robert Rodriguez, Robert Rodriguez Black Label and Robbi and Nikki lines, which are sold at luxury retailers in the US and Europe including Bergdorf Goodman, Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, Saks Fifth Avenue and Bloomingdale's.

Robert Rodriguez, founder and artistic director, said: "I am excited to become part of a dynamic organisation such as Jones and to work together to develop the brands to their fullest potential."