Polo Ralph Lauren Corporation has announced its intent to commence a tender offer to acquire the approximately 80% of the outstanding shares of Impact 21 Co., its Japanese sub-licensee for men's, women's and jeans apparel, and accessories, that it does not currently own. The offer for 2,600 yen per share, (approximately $22 per share) in cash is supported by the Board of Impact 21 Co., and is also supported by Onward Kashiyama Co., Ltd., which together with its affiliates, is the single largest shareholder in Impact 21. Onward Kashiyama has agreed to tender all of its and its affiliates shares in Impact 21 in conjunction with this offer.
The purchase price represents a 19% premium to Impact 21's closing stock price of 2,190 yen as of April 12, 2007.
Polo Ralph Lauren also announced that it has entered into an agreement to purchase the remaining 50% interest in its Japanese Master Licensee, Polo Ralph Lauren Japan, held by Onward Kashiyama and others, for 2.7 billion yen, (approximately $23 million.) The acquisition of Polo Ralph Lauren Japan would be consummated upon the successful completion of the tender offer, thereby making Polo Ralph Lauren Japan a wholly-owned subsidiary of Polo Ralph Lauren Corporation.
“Today's announcement represents a significant development in our global business,” said Ralph Lauren, Chairman and CEO of Polo Ralph Lauren. “We are extremely grateful to both Onward Kashiyama and Impact 21 for their collaboration in helping to establish Polo Ralph Lauren as a significant brand in the important Japanese market. For nearly 30 years the Japanese customer has responded well to our extensive range of products. With that foundation, and with the opening of our Tokyo flagship store last year, we have been able to expand the assortment of our luxury products and show the Japanese customer the diversity, breadth and excitement of the brand.”
“Japan is our second largest country in terms of sales of our products after the United States and, upon the successful completion of these transactions, we intend to enhance our presence in major department stores, expand our portfolio of Ralph Lauren stores and further build the infrastructure to support a growing business,” said Roger Farah, Polo Ralph Lauren President and COO. “We will look to reinforce the brand's image and elevate the distribution in Japan to better align with our business globally.”