Proenza Schouler sells minority stake

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

New York-based luxury fashion brand Proenza Schouler has confirmed that it has sold a minority stake to Boston-based private equity firm Castanea Partners for an undisclosed sum.

The deal, which has been rumoured for some time, will see the private equity firm join existing investors who purchased a 50 percent stake in the brand from the Valentino Fashion Group and others in 2011.

News of the investment also coincides with the exit of existing CEO Shirley Cook, who has held the position since founders Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez started the company in 2002, and is stepping down as part of the transaction.

Cook will be replaced by former Saks Fifth Avenue president Ron Frasch, who is currently an operating partner at Castanea Partners, he will assume responsibilities as interim CEO as well as join the label’s board of directors.

Commenting on the deal, Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez, co-founders and creative directors of Proenza Schouler, said: "We are very excited to embark on this new chapter with the help of Castanea Partners. They have a deep understanding of the business and a great respect for our creative vision. Together, we are committed to realising our dream and to developing the Proenza Schouler brand globally."

Frasch added: “Proenza Schouler is an exciting opportunity for Castanea and we very much look forward to working closely with the Proenza Schouler team to support the company’s continuing growth. Jack and Lazaro, together with Shirley, have created a leading luxury brand with an award winning aesthetic and a compelling mix of categories, channels, and geographies.”