Firms enter fray as Jones Group looks to acquire Maxwell

NEW YORK: Jones Apparel Group's takeover bid for the Maxwell Shoe Company is pitting Kekst & Company against Joele Frank, Wilkinson Brimmer Katcher on the PR front.

NEW YORK: Jones Apparel Group's takeover bid for the Maxwell Shoe Company is pitting Kekst & Company against Joele Frank, Wilkinson Brimmer Katcher on the PR front.

Kekst & Company principal Jeffrey Taufield confirmed that the agency is working on the matter for Jones. He said it has worked with Jones "on an ongoing basis," but would not comment further.

In a document filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on March 29, Maxwell noted that it hired Joele Frank "as its public relations advisor in connection with the offer."

The document also noted that Maxwell has engaged Integrated Corporate Relations, an IR and corporate communications firm, and MacKenzie Partners, a proxy-solicitation consultant.

On March 23, Jones offered $20 a share in cash, or about $300 million, for Maxwell, which the target company calls inadequate since it's been trading at over $22 a share.

Maxwell has said Jones' real motive is to obtain its license for the lucrative AK Anne Klein brand name.

Last Tuesday, the Federal Trade Commission said that the waiting period for objections

to the acquisition had expired, clearing the way for Jones to move forward.

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