Newsmaker of the Year: The Twenty Nominees

WWD editors have chosen a host of nominees, all of whom have made dramatic headlines this year.

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Michael Kors

Photo By John Aquino

Appeared In
Special Issue
WWD Special Report issue 11/28/2012


TITLE: Honorary chairman, chief creative officer and director.

COMPANY: Michael Kors Holdings Ltd.

: He may be the envy of every designer who has ever worked on Seventh Avenue. After 30 years in business, Kors, along with his partners, took the company public last December in a rousingly successful initial public offering, which put the designer on the road to becoming a billionaire.

The strategy to go public was the brainchild of Kors’ financial backers, Silas Chou and Lawrence Stroll, who bought a majority stake in Kors’ company for a reported $100 million in 2003 through their firm, Sportswear Holdings Ltd. After 23 years in business, one trip to bankruptcy court and a seven-year relationship with LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, where he designed the Celine line, Kors was hungry for success. Stroll and Chou set out to turn Kors into a $1 billion brand and take it public.

Last December, the $1.7 billion company began trading at $20 a share, netting Kors $117 million. In March, Kors sold nearly 3 million shares in a secondary offering at $47 each. Then the company had a second follow-up offering at $53 a share, and Kors sold nearly 4 million shares. That brought his total proceeds from the IPO and follow-ups to over $467 million. After the last secondary offering in September, Kors held 8,356,016 shares of stock. The stock is currently trading at $50.32, which would value his investment at $420.5 million.


NEXT: Karl Lagerfeld >>


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