By Michelle Graff
Jewelry designer Judith Ripka with Xcel Brands CEO Robert D’Loren, in a photo provided by Xcel Brands
New York--Jewelry company Judith Ripka has been sold to Xcel Brands Inc., a New York-based brand management company that also owns Isaac Mizrahi New York and Liz Claiborne New York.

Ripka, who created her first 18-karat gold jewelry collection in 1977 and has won numerous design awards over the years, will remain with the company as the brand’s chief designer.

Xcel acquired the jewelry brand and its intellectual property for a value of approximately $22.5 million, comprised of $14 million in cash, $6 million in interest-free promissory notes due five years from the date of issuance and about 571,000 shares of the company’s common stock.

In addition to the purchase price, Xcel will provide for up to an additional $5 million in contingent future payments based upon the company achieving certain net royalties generated by the brand from October 2015 to September 2018.

The Judith Ripka acquisition is expected to be accretive to Xcel’s 2014 earnings.

“This is an outstanding opportunity to cultivate our brand and reach our loyal followers in a new way,” Ripka said in a statement. “I’m thrilled to be part of (Xcel) and believe that we are well positioned for the future.”

Further questions for Ripka were referred to Xcel. The company’s CEO, Robert D’Loren, was not immediately available for comment Friday.

Judith Ripka is the third brand in Xcel’s portfolio, joining Isaac Mizrahi New York and Liz Claiborne New York.

Ripka has been designing jewelry for nearly four decades. She is an exhibitor at the Couture show in Las Vegas and her pieces have been a red carpet mainstay for years, donned by celebrities including Naomi Watts, Miley Cyrus and Isla Fisher.

RELATED CONTENT: Judith Ripka, Swarovski launch new line for QVC

The company also sells jewelry in a wide range of price points on QVC. In November, Ripka teamed with Swarovski on a line of cubic zirconia and sterling silver jewelry for the network, called “Double Brilliant.” Prices on those pieces ranged between $80 and $300.  

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