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Polo Buying Back Jeans License

The $355 million deal settles a dispute with Jones Apparel.
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Polo Ralph Lauren (RL) - Get Ralph Lauren Corporation Class A Report signed a definitive agreement to buy back its Polo Jeans license from Jones Apparel (JNY) for $355 million.

The deal covers the Polo Jeans business for men's and women's casual apparel and sportswear in the U.S. and settles all outstanding litigation and claims between the two companies. As part of the transaction, Polo Ralph Lauren will buy Sun Apparel from Jones Apparel in a transaction expected to close in early February.

"Over the past few years we have been taking more direct control of our brands. Buying back Polo Jeans is a continuation of that long-term strategy and gives us the ability to develop our denim business to its fullest potential," said CEO Ralph Lauren. "We have the world-class design, marketing and advertising expertise to take this business to the next level as we continue to grow on a global basis."

"We already have a strong denim business in Asia and Europe, and with direct ownership of the Polo Jeans business in the United States we will continue to invest in design and infrastructure to leverage our global jeans and denim capabilities," said operating chief Roger Farah. "We have been successful in integrating new merchandise categories and new geographies as we continue to increase our direct ownership on a worldwide basis and this transaction is consistent with that strategic direction."

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