By  on August 18, 2009

New Era Cap Co. Inc., a global headwear and apparel maker known for its Major and Minor League baseball caps, said Monday it acquired privately held apparel manufacturer 5th & Ocean for an undisclosed sum.

“This was an opportunity we simply could not pass up,” said New Era chief executive officer Christopher Koch. “To ensure the long-term growth of New Era in this challenging economic landscape, we need to look for strategic ways to diversify our business.”

A spokeswoman for New Era said management at Miami-based 5th & Ocean “will remain fully intact,” and that “no restructuring has been decided on yet.”

“The resources and knowledge that New Era brings assures that 5th & Ocean will continue to be the fashion leader in licensed apparel and will continue to provide superior speed-to-market,” said 5th & Ocean ceo Alex Leiter.

New Era, an 89-year-old vendor based in Buffalo, N.Y., said working with 5th & Ocean, a company also known for its Major League Baseball apparel, would enhance the launch of its “New Era Presents Tradition” collection, which supports historically black colleges and universities. Victoria’s Secret Pink and Dallas Cowboys merchandising also have merchandising relationships with 5th & Ocean.

According to New Era, product is expected to reach the market by the end of the year with a broader launch in the spring. Both companies will attend the MAGIC trade show at the end of August.

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