By EVAN CLARK
A PIECE OF JONES: The would-be bidders for pieces of The Jones Group Inc. are lining up, but the process — which is being run by Citi — is still focused on selling the entire apparel and footwear businesses separately or the whole company outright. Toronto-based Sherson Group, a longtime licensee of Jones' Nine West footwear brand, has hired investment bank Avalon Net Worth to pursue an acquisition of the moderate footwear business, which includes Nine West, Bandolino and other brands.
"They've engaged us to get to Jones and see whether we're able to extract that piece," said Jack Hendler, president of Avalon. "They want to make sure it falls into the right hands."
The licensee has some company in the wings. Delta Galil Industries Ltd. is also believed to be interested in buying the Gloria Vanderbilt business. And a source close to the situation said, "Every garmento in New York has come out of the woodwork" wanting a part of the company. The source cautioned that not all of the expressions of interest are credible.