Liz Claiborne's Grand Finale Still to Come

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) - Liz Claiborne's ( LIZ)sale of several brands, including its namesake, could simply be a precursor to the ultimate sale of the entire company, according to an analyst.

The Liz Claiborne and Monet brands will go to J.C. Penney ( JCP); Bluestar Alliance purchased the Kensie brand. The company also completed the sale of its Dana Buchman brand to Kohl's ( KSS). These transactions generated $328 million.

Liz Claiborne also agreed with Donna Karan International to terminate its DKNY Jeans and DKNY Active license.

The company, which will now focus on its kate spade, Juicy Couture and Lucky Brands, also will change its name, which has yet to be announced.

By stripping out these brands, Liz Claiborne will be able to reduce its debt by about 62%. It debt stood at $741.6 million as of July 2.

Wall Street is praising the move by CEO William McComb, who took the reins in 2006.

"Bill saved the company," said Wall Street Strategies analyst Brian Sozzi. "Liz could have been bankrupt."

Now, McComb's final act could be putting the entire company up for sale, Sozzi said.

The Lucky brand has seen a noteworthy turn in its denim business, Juicy Couture is still a viable brand and kate spade is a powerhouse, said Sozzi. With the right investment, kate spade could be taken international and can compete with Coach in China.

"These brands have been under invested," Sozzi said. "Liz has the right assets that the specialty retail sector would be interested in."

- Reported by Jeanine Poggi in New York.

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