DALLAS -- Eddie Haggar Ltd. has acquired the Palmetto's/Essentials division from Hartwell Co., Hartwell, Ga.
EHL, as the Haggar firm is known, primarily manufactures women's pants, while Palmetto's/Essentials makes pants for women, juniors and children.
Palmetto's/Essentials has annual sales of $110 million, while EHL does about $65 million.
"Palmetto's, a major brand in jeans and pants for juniors, and Essentials, a strong brand in missy casual sportswear, is a perfect complement to our expertise in missy career sportswear," said E.R. Haggar Jr., president of EHL.
Palmetto's children's wear is marketed by Coordinated Apparel Group under a licensing agreement.
Haggar said his company should further benefit from access into new markets and additional state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities. He also noted that EHL will "now have distribution in most retail channels, from department stores and specialty stores to catalogs."
Terms of the deal between the two companies, both of which are privately held, were not disclosed.
EHL top management, based in Dallas, will run the acquired business. Manufacturing facilities for Palmetto's/Essentials will continue in Georgia and in Costa Rica.
EHL was founded in 1990 in a management-led leveraged buyout by E.R. Haggar Jr., from the Haggar Apparel Co., which was founded by his grandfather, J.M. Haggar Sr.
EHL makes women's wrinkle-resistant pants, including EHL No-Wrinkle cotton, gabardine and linen. Haggar estimated that 90 percent of EHL's business is in the bottoms/pants category, while pants and bottoms account for about 85 percent of Palmetto's/Essentials total volume.
Since signing a letter of intent in November to join the two companies, EHL said it has begun to merge its systems to "advance the manufacturing, delivery and customer service of the combined companies."
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