The founder of Perry Ellis International Inc., George Feldenkreis, who was ousted as executive chairman less than six months ago, is now making a bid to buy the Doral-based global clothing retailer.
According to a report from the Wall Street Journal, Feldenkreis sent a letter to the company’s board Tuesday proposing a deal at $27.50 a share, or about $430 million.
A Cuban immigrant, Feldenkreis came to Miami in 1961. He founded Supreme International, which late became Perry Ellis, and led the company for 50 years. He stepped down as chief executive officer in January 2016 when his son, Oscar, took over day-to-day operations.
Then in September 2017, Perry Ellis announced it was eliminating Feldenkreis’ position of executive chairman. He was replaced by J. David Scheiner, former president and chief operating officer of Macy’s Florida/Puerto Rico, in a new role of non-executive chairman.
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Feldenkreis, 82, is the largest shareholder at Perry Ellis, and controls of 11.3 percent of the company’s shares outstanding, according to a Dec. 8 regulatory filing, the Wall Street Journal reported.
His offer represents a 19 percent premium to the $23.18 closing price of Perry Ellis stock on Tuesday. CEO Oscar Feldenkreis, who owns a nearly 8 percent stake in the company, will be asked to contribute his portion to the transaction, the Wall Street Journal reported.
In a press release Wednesday morning, Perry Ellis International confirmed its directors had received an “unsolicited, conditional proposal” from Feldenkreis to acquire the company for $27.50 per share in cash.
The non-executive chairman of the board of directors will recommend the board form a special committee to review and evaluate the proposal. Perry Ellis shareholders do not need to take any action at this time, the statement said.
According to sources who spoke to the Journal, Feldenkreis has grown frustrated with what he characterizes as a short-term focus and unwillingness from his fellow directors to invest in the business. As a private company, Perry Ellis may be better able to improve its marketing, e-commerce and international business, sources close to Feldenkreis told the Wall Street Journal.
Like many department store brands, Perry Ellis has struggled with the growth of online shopping. The company, which operates 17 stores and 54 outlets, saw sales dip 4.2 percent in the last fiscal year.