Call Me Kate Spade, Says Fifth & Pacific (FNP)

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Investors in Fifth & Pacific (FNP) are feeling skittish after the company reported its holiday sales performance and as it prepares to undergo a name change and executive shake-up.

By late morning, shares had tumbled 2.7% to $31.01.

On Thursday, the New York-based business announced it is in the process of changing its name to Kate Spade & Company after numerous asset sales left it with one major brand. In 2013, the retailer unloaded the Juicy Couture brand and sold Liz Claiborne a year earlier. The sale of Lucky Brand is expected to close in early in the first quarter of 2014.

Additionally, Fifth & Pacific announced CEO William L. McComb would be stepping down from his role to be succeeded by Craig Leavitt, current CEO of the company's Kate Spade branch.

The management transition and corporate name change will be effective following the scheduled release of fourth-quarter earnings on Feb. 25. From this time, the company will trade under KATE on the New York Stock Exchange.

"While the name of the company will change, the brand and operational leadership that got us to this place not only continues, but are enhanced as we merge the Kate Spade and FNP teams," said Leavitt in a statement.

Fifth & Pacific will incur a non-cash severance charge of $16 million and cash severance charges of $7 million as part of the management reshuffle.

Based on preliminary figures, the company said its direct sales to consumers for its Kate Spade brand rose 30% over the fourth quarter. Adjusted EBITDA for full-year 2013 is expected in the range of $125 million to $130 million, in line with the $128.68 million analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters anticipate.

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