By  on August 17, 2005

NEW YORK — Delta Galil Industries Ltd. said Tuesday that Sara Lee Corp. plans to sell the 23 percent stake it holds in the Israeli company to GMM Capital LLC, an investment firm controlled by Isaac Dabah. The stake is valued at $27.7 million.

Dabah is a former owner of Gloria Vanderbilt Apparel Corp., which was sold to Jones Apparel Group in April 2002. He served as chief executive officer of Jones' denim division until December 2004. Currently, Dabah manages GMM Capital, a fund that invests in Israel and the U.S. in various sectors, including apparel and textiles.

The sale is expected to close by Aug. 30.

Michael Fitzgerald, corporate senior vice president of business development for Delta Galil, said Sara Lee informed Delta Galil the sale of its shares is being made in accordance with Sara Lee's transformation plan announced in late February. A Sara Lee spokeswoman said the divestiture of Delta Galil shares is "consistent with the sale or spin-off" of all of its apparel operations.

Sara Lee decided to split apart its $4.5 billion apparel business and operations in the Americas-Asia territories and sell its $1.8 billion European apparel business. Sara Lee owns and markets the Hanes, Playtex, Champion, Bali, Just My Size and Wonderbra brands.

Fitzgerald noted that Sara Lee had a relationship with Delta Galil for close to 25 years.

Upon the closing of the sale, Sara Lee's current three nominees to Delta's board, Mark Silver, J. Randall White and Anne E. Ziegler, will resign, and GMM Capital will appoint Dabah and two other executives. Dabah will have the nonexecutive title of deputy chairman.

Delta Galil, which manufactures apparel brands including Calvin Klein Underwear, Nike, Hugo Boss and Victoria's Secret, generated sales of $654 million in 2004, and overall sales in 2005 are projected at $750 million, said Miki Laxer, controller of Delta Galil.

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