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Apax nears $500m deal to buy Cole Haan from Nike

6 Nov 2012

Global buyout firm Apax Partners is reported to be nearing a deal to buy Cole Haan, the lossmaking leather handbag and shoe maker owned by global sporting goods giant Nike, for about $500m.

An announcement is not expected to be made on Tuesday – the same day US voters go to the polls – but could be made soon, the Financial Times reported, citing unnamed sources.

Apax is understood to have partnered with former Converse chief executive Jack Boys, who is expected to take the helm at Cole Haan following the buyout, the report said.

TPG Capital and Berkshire Partners are also said to have been interested in the business.

The sale of the unit will help free up cash for Nike, which in May pledged to sell Cole Haan and football kit maker Umbro in a bid to refocus on its core business.

Nike, which bought Cole Haan in 1988 for $80m, has hired Goldman Sachs to handle the sale.

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