Pepe Jeans Said to Hire Morgan Stanley to Sell Business

Pepe Jeans Group, the clothing retailer known for its denim and sportswear brands, hired Morgan Stanley to explore the sale of the business, according to people familiar with the matter.

The sale will include both the Pepe Jeans and Hackett brands and could fetch as much as 700 million euros ($941 million), the people said, asking not to be identified because the discussions are private. The company has attracted interest from buyout firms including KKR & Co., Permira Advisers LLP, CVC Capital Partners Ltd. and PAI Partners SAS as well as strategic companies, the people said.

Pepe Jeans, which was started by three brothers on a stall in London’s Portobello Market in 1973, is now owned by private-equity firms Torreal, Arta Capital, L Capital and its management team, led by Chief Executive Officer Carlos Ortega. Ortega will stay on as CEO of the company, the people said.

Pepe Jeans, which is a sponsor of the Infiniti Red Bull Racing Formula One team and has run high-profile advertising campaigns starring actress Sienna Miller and soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo, now has a presence in more than 60 countries. Its annual earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization are about 60 million euros, the people said.

Representatives at Torreal, Arta, KKR, Permira and CVC declined to comment, while representatives for Pepe Jeans, L Capital and PAI did not immediately respond to requests for comment. A spokesman for Morgan Stanley declined to comment.

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