NEW YORK, Feb. 24, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Kenneth D. Cole today announced that he has proposed to acquire through a merger transaction 100 percent of the outstanding publicly held shares of common stock of Kenneth Cole Productions, Inc. (NYSE: KCP) (the "Company"). Mr. Cole is Chairman and Chief Creative Officer of the Company and currently owns approximately 47% of the common stock (representing approximately 89% of the voting power) of the Company.
Under the proposed transaction, transmitted following the close of the market yesterday in a letter to the Company's Board of Directors, public stockholders would receive $15.00 per share in cash. The proposal values the total equity of the Company at approximately $280 million.
The offer letter stated that the proposed price represents a premium of approximately 26% over the average closing price of the Company's Class A common stock for the past 45 trading days. The letter also stated that the proposal represents a unique opportunity for the Company's stockholders to monetize their investment at a premium to the Company's current and recent stock price, and that the proposed price represents a higher price than the stock has traded for since October 2010, and, prior to then, September 2008.In the offer letter, Mr. Cole said: "Recent market challenges have created a sharply competitive landscape, and I believe it is now more important than ever to embrace a more entrepreneurial perspective where we are all incentivized to grow and develop our Company's products, brand and business with a longer term perspective. I believe it is increasingly difficult to develop this type of culture in a public company context, where the public markets are increasingly focused on short-term results. I am convinced that private ownership is in the best interests of the business and the organization and that this proposal is in the best interests of the shareholders."