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AUDIGIER’S EXIT PLAN: Christian Audigier
wants to sell his company and is in talks with private equity firms, apparel manufacturers in California, and European firms — more than 15 in all — about buying the business, which encompasses 10 brands and includes his namesake label and the tattoo-inspired line Ed Hardy. Audigier said he may sell the brands separately. One thing is certain: He’s asking for at least $700 million for the entire company, a high price in these straitened times. With 92 licensees, the Culver City, Calif.-based firm expects wholesale sales to more than double to $300 million this year from a year ago. Audigier couldn’t provide estimates for the retail operations, which include 23 stores he owns and 42 stores run by franchisees. Having already signed leases for 12 new stores next year, he said denim veteran Hubert Guez
recently joined the company as chief executive officer.