Apparel group Kasper ASL Ltd has enjoyed a third quarter revenue increase of 25.1 per cent on the cusp of an increased purchase offer by the Jones Apparel Group Inc.

The New York-based company, which posted third quarter revenue of $128 million compared to $102.3m in same-period 2002, will now be bought by Jones for $232.5m, an increase of $17m on its previous offer.

The purchase price consists of $221m in cash and the assumption of $11.5m in pre-paid royalties.

Kasper, which operates such brands as Anne Klein and Albert Nipo, also saw net income rise to $27.5m from $10m in third quarter 2002.

Jones, owner of the Nine West, Enzo Angiolini and Gloria Vanderbilt labels, agreed to buy Kasper in August after a bidding war with Kellwood Corp, and said the raised purchase price had helped facilitate an agreement between Kasper's creditor and equity committees on the distribution of sale proceeds.

The acquisition is expected to help Jones Apparel replace revenue from a Ralph Lauren license it lost earlier in the year.