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J. C. Penney Company, Inc. Accelerates Its Option To Acquire Liz Claiborne Brands From Liz Claiborne Inc.

Stocks in this article: JCPLIZ

PLANO, Texas, Oct. 12, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- J. C. Penney Company, Inc. (NYSE: JCP) today announced that it has reached an asset purchase agreement with Liz Claiborne Inc. (NYSE: LIZ).  Under this agreement, the Company will acquire the worldwide rights for the Liz Claiborne family of brands as well as the U.S. and Puerto Rico rights for the Monet brand for $267.5 million.

(Logo:   http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20110222/DA51975LOGO)

The Company has been the exclusive licensee for all Liz Claiborne and Claiborne-branded merchandise in the U.S. and Puerto Rico since August 2010. Under the terms of the original 10-year agreement, J. C. Penney Company could exercise its rights to purchase the Liz Claiborne family of brands after year five of the agreement or again at year 10.  Today's announcement accelerates the original agreement and includes the acquisition of the timeless fashion jewelry brand, Monet.  The Company expects that jcpenney will become the exclusive destination for Monet, a brand currently not offered at jcpenney, by August 2012.

Myron E. (Mike) Ullman, III, chairman and chief executive officer, said, "This is the culmination of our extremely successful partnership with Liz Claiborne Inc. The brands we are acquiring hold tremendous appeal for our customers, and the performance of the Liz Claiborne and Claiborne brands at jcpenney has consistently exceeded our high expectations. We will now build on that strength to accelerate the brands' performance."

Incoming Chief Executive Officer Ron Johnson added, "As we seek to be part of our customers' everyday lives, ensuring that we offer the brands that are most relevant to them is a crucial component in transforming jcpenney into America's favorite store.  Liz Claiborne and Monet are classic brands that resonate deeply with consumers. Our ownership of these brands gives us a strong foundation for continued innovation and growth."

Under the terms of the agreement, the Company will acquire the worldwide rights and intellectual property for the entire Liz Claiborne brand portfolio, including Liz Claiborne, Claiborne, Liz, Liz & Co., Concepts by Claiborne, LC, Elizabeth, LizGolf, LizSport, Liz Claiborne New York (LCNY) and Lizwear brands. Additionally, the Company expects to retain the highly talented Liz Claiborne design team, which will continue to lead the creative process for these brands.

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