Vince Surges in First U.S. Apparel IPO Since Michael Kors

Vince Holding Corp. rose 43 percent in its trading debut as investors bought shares in the first apparel company to go public in the U.S. since Michael Kors Holdings Ltd. in 2011.

Vince, the clothing designer formerly known as Apparel Holding Corp. that’s backed by Sun Capital Partners Inc., raised $200 million selling 10 million shares for $20 each, according to a statement, after offering them for $17 to $19 apiece. The shares climbed $8.66 to $28.66 as of 4:15 p.m. in New York.

The Vince brand, known for its cashmere sweaters, leather jackets, and silk tops, was founded in 2002 in Los Angeles by Rea Laccone and Christopher LaPolice. Celebrities such as Kim Kardashian, Reese Witherspoon and Beyonce Knowles have been seen wearing their clothes, which are carried in 2,100 stores around the world. Vince’s IPO is the first of an apparel company in the U.S. since Michael Kors started trading almost two years ago, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

“Vince is understated elegance, which is what consumers want right now,” David Wu, a luxury-retail analyst at Telsey Advisory Group in New York, said by phone. “We’ve moved in terms of luxury trends toward more understated looks, which is where Vince plays.”

Shares of Hong Kong-based Michael Kors have surged 58 percent this year, more than double the gain of the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index. The Bloomberg Americas Apparel Index has increased 40 percent in 2013 and is trading near record highs.

Sun Capital

The Vince brand was acquired in 2006 by Kellwood Co., an apparel holding company that Sun Capital purchased two years later in a leveraged buyout. The private-equity firm will keep control of Apparel’s non-Vince businesses, including Rebecca Taylor and My Michelle, according to a regulatory filing. The company plans to use proceeds to pay down debt.

Jill Granoff has served as chief executive officer of Vince since August 2012, after holding the CEO role at Kenneth Cole Productions Inc. Adjusted for the separation from Apparel Holding, Vince’s sales rose 27 percent to $114.7 million in the six months ended Aug. 3, the filing shows.

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Robert W. Baird & Co. managed the offering. Vince is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol VNCE.

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