ADLER SIGNS DEAL TO SELL HALMODE TO KELLWOOD

Byline: Arthur Friedman

NEW YORK--After 25 years of running Halmode Apparel as an independent company, Robert Adler is selling it to Kellwood Co., saying he needs the corporate parent in order to keep growing.
"Halmode will now have the opportunity to expand its operations globally and benefit from international manufacturing and sourcing facilities, state-of-the-art production and customer service technology and the financial services that a Fortune 500 company like Kellwood has to offer," Adler said.
"In turn, Halmode's strong customer base in dresses will help Kellwood gain a significant share of that market. So there's a lot of synergy in the deal."
Adler predicted thatHalmode will have sales of about $160 million this year, with $120 million derived from its lines of dresses marketed in mass chains and department stores.
William J. McKenna, chairman, chief executive officer and president of Kellwood, which is based in St. Louisstated thatthe acquisition "continues our strategy of expanding our apparel products."
Adler commented that the definitive agreement to sell the company, which was signed Wednesday, is subject to Federal Trade Commission approval. However, he and Kellwood expect approval by the end of September. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Adler, who is chairman and ceo of Halmode, will continue to run the company as ceo of the division. Adler's partner, Jay Diamond, will continue as president.
Kellwood, a diversified manufacturer and marketer of women's, children's and men's apparel, home furnishings and camping equipment, grew to a volume of $1.2 billion for the fiscal year ended April 30, a 12 percent increase over the previous year.

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