By  on December 1, 1994

TORONTO -- Koret of California, San Francisco, said Wednesday it had gained control of Mr. Jax Fashions Inc., Vancouver.

Koret said about 95 percent of Mr. Jax's shares had been deposited under the tender offer made by Koret's Canadian subsidiary.

Koret made the unsolicited offer to acquire all the outstanding shares of Jax at about $1.02 U.S. ($1.40 Canadian) a share, which represents a 40 percent premium over the highest price that Jax shares have traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange in the past five months. The deal, which was recommended by Jax's board, was conditioned upon Koret receiving 90 percent of the shares. Steve Rudin, president of Koret, said the firm intends to purchase all of Jax's equity, which will come to a total price of about $6.7 million ($9.25 million Canadian).

The deal allows Koret, a maker of moderate-price sportswear, to enter the better market and become one of Canada's largest apparel makers. Koret of Canada posted sales of $18 million ($25 million Canadian) in 1993.

In the nine months of this year, Jax, which has been cutting back on operations, posted a loss of $916,000 ($1.3 million Canadian) on its continuing operations, while sales were $16.5 million ($22.7 million).

In a telephone interview, Rudin said his company plans to evaluate Jax's operations over the next few months. But "our current intention is to allow the Jax business to continue to operate with its present lines and its present people," he said. That includes keeping head designer Ron Leal, a U.S. designer who joined Jax in 1988.

Along with restoring profitability for Jax, Rudin said, Koret plans to increase Jax's presence in the U.S. Currently, it does about 15 percent of its business there.

- Fairchild News Service

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