By  on February 9, 2006

NEW YORK — Outerwear company Amerex Group said Monday that Ira Ganger, president and chief executive officer, has acquired the firm from his longtime partner, Fred Shvetz.

Ganger said in a phone interview that the change has been planned for some time, and that it was an amicable split. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

"My partner decided he wanted to retire about eight months ago, and he gave me some time to plan and get the financing together," Ganger said. "The company is in a good place right now for this."

Ganger said he isn't planning any major changes in direction but is looking at ways to grow the business, including signing new licensees, and is also considering a reentry into the swimwear business.

Amerex, which now has more than $200 million in annual sales, was founded in 1932 by their fathers, Alexander Shvetz and Joseph Ganger, and is one of the largest companies in the outerwear field. Earlier this year, chief executive officer Glen Palmer left the firm and Ganger now oversees the day-to-day business with divisional presidents reporting to him.

The New York-based firm has proprietary labels including Gerry, Weather Tamer, One Madison, Static, Alpine Studio and Mulberry Street, and also makes products under license for brands such as Jones New York, Gloria Vanderbilt, Rampage and Mudd.

Torn & Frayed Advisors and Chapman Associated facilitated the buyout, and Allied Capital Corp. provided debt and equity capital to support the deal, Amerex said.

Ganger said the two families remain close and still have businesses together, including real estate holdings.

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