Private equity firm Change Capital Partners has agreed to sell luxury fashion house Jil Sander to Tokyo-listed Onward Holdings for EUR167m (US$243.9m).

The German brand, which designs luxury women's and men's ready-to-wear, accessories, footwear and fragrances, was acquired by Change Capital from Italian fashion firm Prada in April 2006.

Since its acquisition, Jil Sander's operating EBITDA has been transformed from negative EUR12.9m in 2005 to positive EUR6.1m in 2007, Change Capital said.

Stephan Lobmeyr of Change Capital Partners said: "We are proud of what we have been able to achieve with Jil Sander. We are pleased to reach agreement with Onward for the sale of this fantastic company which has a great management team and excellent growth prospects.

"When we acquired Jil Sander from Prada, we saw a tremendous opportunity to re-establish the profitability of this iconic brand. Under our ownership Jil Sander has now achieved a successful turnaround and we have laid the foundations for significant growth in the coming years."

Onward has made the offer through its European subsidiary GIBO' Co. It has recently made a number of other acquisitions in the luxury goods market in Europe, including the Iris and Joseph brands.

Takeshi Hirouchi, Chairman & CEO of Onward, said: "We are greatly honoured that Jil Sander, a luxury brand with exquisite design and spirit of innovation, is joining our group. The acquisition certainly enhances our stable of well known brands. We believe that there are considerable opportunities and synergies to drive the growth of Jil Sander, GIBO and the entire Onward Group."

The transaction, which will be structured through Onward's acquisition of Violine Sàrl, is expected to close shortly after having obtained regulatory clearance, a statement added.

Jil Sander now has 61 stores in aggregate comprising 26 directly operated stores as well as a franchise network encompassing Asia, Europe and North America.

Gian Giacomo Ferraris, CEO of Jil Sander, commented: "Change Capital Partners' input into Jil Sander has been invaluable and came at a crucial time. The brand's image has been restored under the creative directorship of one of the pre-eminent designers of this generation, Raf Simons, and there are tremendous opportunities to enter unexplored markets and further enhance the product range. We look forward to the ongoing success of Jil Sander under the new ownership of Onward."