The Donnkenny Dance Ends

The sale of Donnkenny to Pacific Alliance, headed by Haim Dabah, chairman and ceo, was approved in bankruptcy court.

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NEW YORK — Donnkenny is ready to start its second life — with Haim Dabah.

A bankruptcy court here approved the sale of the vendor’s assets on Tuesday to Pacific Alliance, headed by Dabah, chairman and chief executive officer. Pacific Alliance, which was represented by investment bank Financo, expects to close the deal within a week.

Details are yet to be worked out, but the final price tag is expected to be about $20 million, including the assumption of liabilities.

The acquisition strengthens the company’s presence in the midtier, as Donnkenny will retain its license to make nicole by Nicole Miller sportswear, sold exclusively at J.C. Penney. Pacific Alliance already holds the master license for Daisy Fuentes, sold at Kohl’s, in addition to other holdings, such as the Regatta brand.

“We’re not buying it for the size of it today,” said Dabah of Donnkenny, which has annual sales of just over $90 million. “We’re buying this business for the size it’s going to be five years from now.”

Donnkenny will continue to operate as a separate business under the leadership of Daniel Levy, who is staying on as ceo.

In addition to the nicole by Nicole Miller sportswear business, Donnkenny has a Pierre Cardin business with Goody’s and a primarily private label bottoms business that focuses on replenishing stores mid-season. “The only private label business that is going to flourish is replenishment,” said Dabah.

These businesses will all be kept, as will the company’s Wytheville, Va., replenishment facility. Donnkenny’s other lines, such as Bill Blass, had already fallen away as the company’s financial troubles worsened.

Dabah plans to inject its technology and sourcing savvy into Donnkenny’s operations to beef up the bottom line and better serve stores.

Donnkenny had an asset purchase agreement with Donn K Acquisition LLC, a company affiliated with Pacific Alliance, when it filed for Chapter 11 in the Southern District of New York in February.

That didn’t stave off interest from other players, including Li & Fung and Bernard Chaus Inc., which also took part in an auction for the firm last week.

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