By  on July 31, 2013

Delta Galil Industries Ltd. is ready to jump back into acquisition mode, but it appears to be staying out of the current bidding for The Jones Group Inc., at least for now.

Isaac Dabah, chief executive officer of the Tel Aviv-based marketer of intimate apparel and activewear, declined comment on the current bidding for Jones. Market sources said Delta wasn’t among the bidders in the first round, in which a sale of the company in its entirety or the two major components of its portfolio, apparel and footwear, is being pursued.

However, Delta’s interest in Jones’ jeanswear properties, including Gloria Vanderbilt and L.E.I., could be rekindled if they were to be offered in a subsequent round, either by Jones or by a buyer of its apparel assets.

Dabah and Jones have a long history. He sold Gloria Vanderbilt Apparel Corp. to Jones for $138 million in 2002 and stayed on as ceo of its jeanswear unit before leaving the company in 2004. As ceo of Delta, he negotiated to acquire Jones’ jeanswear division in late 2011 for between $350 million and $400 million, but the parties were unable to strike a deal.

The impasse with Jones has hardly kept Dabah on the mergers and acquisitions sidelines. Delta acquired German underwear maker Schiesser for 68 million euros, or $85 million, in July 2012, a month after buying KN Karen Neuberger from CIT for $4 million. It added LittleMissMatched, a specialist in girls’ hosiery, for an undisclosed sum in December.

Delta Galil was among the firms that lost out on the bidding for La Perla when SMS Finance prevailed in the bidding for the Italian brand with its 69 million euro, or $90.3 million, offer.

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