West Hollywood-based Neil Lane Enterprises sold a majority stake in its jewelry and accessories business to Authentic Brands Group for roughly $100 million, according to sources familiar with the deal, who confirmed recent media reports of the move.
The eponymous business of entrepreneur and self-proclaimed “Jeweler to the Stars” Neil Lane will be added to Authentic Brands’ lineup, which includes Juicy Couture and Aeropostale. Authentic Brands is itself a portfolio company of Brentwood private equity shop Leonard Green & Partners.
Lane said the move would help him expand beyond the jewelry market into household goods and consumer products.
“The dream was to share my knowledge and aesthetic with a bigger audience, but I’ve never had the infrastructure,” he said. “So, we looked at (Authentic Brands) and they have a huge infrastructure, so it made a lot of sense.”
Lane said he’s been approached before about selling his business, but hadn’t found the right partner. He’s worked in the past with Signet Jewelers Ltd. – parent of retail outlets such as Kay Jewelers, Zales and Jared the Galleria of Jewelry – and helped De Beers Group open its Rodeo Drive showroom.
Lane supplies engagement rings for the ABC television show “The Bachelor” and has also worked with celebrities such as Madonna.
Downtown-based investment bank Greif & Co. brokered the deal for Lane. Chief Executive Lloyd Greif said the strategy of brand expansion is tried and tested, but mostly by iconic fashion labels.
“You see apparel guys go into other categories all the time, but never anyone from the jewelry industry,” Greif said. “Look at Vera Wang. She started exclusively with wedding dresses and look where she is now. Neil is going to do the same thing.”
Cooking Up Cash
El Segundo meal kit delivery service Chef’d raised $25 million last week from Smithfield, Va., pork producer Smithfield Foods Inc.
Smithfield’s Series B investment adds to the $10 million round Chef’d announced in June from backers Campbell Soup Co. and online grocery delivery business Fresh Direct.
Chef’d, which was founded in 2015 by Chief Executive Kyle Ransford, has raised more than $60 million in the past two years. The deal gives the company access to Smithfield’s pork products and operational infrastructure, while also increasing its visibility, Ransford said in a statement.
“Smithfield is a well-recognized leader in the food industry and shares our vision of meal kits and e-commerce playing an increasingly important role in consumers’ food choices,” he said.
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