Is a Proxy Fight Next for Randa?

AT WHAT COST:  Perry Ellis International’s Special Committee on Wednesday reiterated its intention to proceed with George Feldenkreis’ $ 437 million offer to take the company private, a transaction that was inked on June 16. That dashed the wishes of Randa Accessories, which had hoped for a second, third and fourth chance to at least engage in talks over its nonbinding $ 444 million offer.
Randa has maintained that it intends to continue pursuing a purchase of Perry Ellis, but it doesn’t have many options left. According to the Special Committee on Wednesday, regulatory authorities already granted early termination of the 30-day waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976, clearing the way for the filing of the preliminary proxy last week. All that’s left is determining the date for the special shareholders’ meeting so investors can vote yay or nay on the planned deal.
Randa could elect to do a proxy fight, but at what cost? A banker not connected to the Perry Ellis-Randa battle — he’s requested anonymity because of his work with corporate clients in connection with proxy fights from activist investors — said, “A proxy fight is very expensive, and I’m not sure what it achieves here. If

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Randa Reiterates Commitment to Acquire Perry Ellis

Four days after the special committee of the Perry Ellis International Inc. board reaffirmed its support for George Feldenkreis’ offer to take the company private, Randa Accessories laid out why it believes shareholders should line up behind its offer, which is slightly higher: $ 28 a share, as compared with Feldenkreis’ $ 27.50 a share.
In a letter sent to the special committee this morning, Jeffrey Spiegel, Randa’s chief executive officer, wrote: “We were disappointed to read of your decision not to engage with us regarding our compelling proposal that would provide superior value to your shareholders than your existing merger agreement with George Feldenkreis (the insider transaction).” 
Spiegel said the deal with Feldenkreis “expressly permits the special committee to engage in discussions to clarify the terms of any unsolicited proposal it receives and, further, to engage in negotiations with regards to such a proposal that is reasonably expected to lead to a superior proposal.”
Yet the committee has “not once directly contacted us or our representatives.” Instead, the committee’s decision has been delivered via press release, Randa said.
As a result, Randa said it would address what it said were inaccuracies in the committee’s statement last week. That included the committee’s questioning of its financing ability. Spiegel said

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Randa Creates Digital Lab Division

Randa is upping its digital game.
The world’s largest men’s accessories firm has created Randa Digital Labs, a new division that will take the data it collects on consumer preferences and use that to quickly manufacture and test product at retail.
Heath Golden, formerly president of Randa’s neckwear and jewelry division and the one-time chief executive officer of Hampshire Group, will head the division.
“Heath’s strengths as a strategic thinker and his drive to remain on the leading edge of changes in our industry are what makes him Randa’s clear choice to lead this vital initiative,” said Judy Person, Randa’s executive vice president and group president.
Randa has collected more than two billion pieces of data on how people shop for accessories and the details they seek before making a purchase, according to Golden. Armed with that information, Randa can use one of the factories it owns around the world to quickly manufacture prototypes to meet those demands and the ship them to their retail partners to test. If successful, the product can then be added to the assortment in a larger way, he said.
“If I teach Macy’s how to sell more wallets,” Golden said, “it’s good for all of us.”
Randa Digital Labs is

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Paper Crown, Randa Selling Men’s Ties in Women’s Dress Area

It’s no secret that the men’s neckwear business has been struggling in recent years. But Randa, the category’s largest manufacturer, is not about to roll over and play dead.
Instead, it has teamed with Paper Crown, a popular women’s collection founded by Lauren Conrad and Maura McManus, to create a line of neckwear and accessories to complement the collection’s flirty, feminine styles.
The line has launched exclusively at Lord & Taylor and in an unconventional twist, is being sold in the women’s dress department rather than in the men’s department. The men’s ties, pocket squares and jewelry are being targeted to brides to pick up for the groomsmen in their weddings.
Paper Crown, which launched in 2011, is known for its romantic dresses, feminine blouses and tailored basics, and also offers a popular collection of bridesmaids dresses.
“We know from our research that more neckwear purchases are driven by occasions,” said Heath Golden, president of Randa’s neckwear and jewelry division. “And that the woman makes a lot of the buying decisions.”
Richard Carroll, Randa’s senior vice president of marketing and creative director, added: “Doing things differently is how we’re going to survive.”
Carroll said Paper Crown has developed a loyal following with its “best in class” wedding

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Randa Partners With First Insight

Randa, a men’s accessories wholesaler, is tapping First Insight for its consumer-driven predictive analytics.
Starting this month, Randa will look to First Insight for design, buying and pricing decisions about the accessories it produces for its brands, retail partners and consumers.
“We are dedicated to making our partners successful. Offering the right assortment through the right channel at the right price is critical for growth — and that requires timely and accurate information,” said David J. Katz, executive vice president and chief marketing officer of Randa. “We are excited about our partnership with First Insight because their predictive analytic platform will enable us to elevate the discussion we have with our retail and brand partners, make more informed recommendations based on direct feedback from consumers and drive better business results and increased consumer satisfaction.”
First Insight’s analytics are based on its online social engagement tools that gather real-time preference, pricing and sentiment data on potential product offerings. First Insight then uses this information to determine what products have the greatest opportunity, which allows Randa to quickly evaluate its designs and base production and pricing on consumer inputs.
“We are thrilled to be partnering with Randa, a company that has built its reputation on helping their retail

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Randa Shifts Executives in Luggage, Wallets; Names Chief Operating Officer

Randa Accessories has repositioned some of the senior managers in its luggage and wallets and seasonal accessories divisions and also named a new chief operating officer.
Under the restructuring, Brad Kovaly has been named president of Randa luggage. Kovaly has 25 years of experience at the company, starting in the neckwear division, then managing a newly acquired leather goods business, and most recently, was chief operating officer.
As head of the luggage division, which designs, produces and distributes Columbia, Timberland, Nautica, Chaps, Vince Camuto, Weatherproof, Nine West and others, Kovaly will concentrate on the growing market of innovative travel solutions and technology.
“Having a longstanding history with Randa, I look forward to this new challenge to help shape and define our luggage division and the industry as a whole,” Kovaly said. “By leveraging our strengths and investing in our core competencies, we will continue to grow our current business while developing new product and distribution opportunities.” Succeeding Kovaly as chief operating officer is Ed Turner, a 20-year Randa veteran who has experience in sales, merchandising, sourcing and brand management. Most recently, Turner was president of Randa’s wallets and seasonal accessories division.
“With the evolving nature of our industry and our company, it is important to create

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