NEW YORK — Phillips-Van Heusen is moving forward in its bid to win the Calvin Klein brands, according to sources who said over the weekend that talks have resumed between the two companies.
Market reports indicated that PVH was edged out by VF Corp. in the first round of bids for the designer business as well as Warnaco Group’s Calvin Klein jeans and underwear brands last week, but after VF’s deal reportedly fell apart, PVH was said to be ready to try again. Several sources in New York and Paris have said that PVH is working with the investment firm Apax Partners to finance an acquisition of Calvin Klein Inc. or the Warnaco brands.
However, a Warnaco spokesman said last week that the company, still in bankruptcy proceedings, is sticking with its previously reported plan of reorganization that is supported by holders of its bank debt. If the company does complete that process, expected sometime in mid-January, Warnaco could possibly then entertain more lucrative bids for those brands or the entire company.
While Calvin Klein Inc. was put up for sale three years ago with an asking price of $1 billion, current suitors are said to be offering in the range of $650 million to $800 million, considering the impact on the sales and positioning of the jeans and underwear product of Warnaco’s bankruptcy proceedings, as well as decreased sales of Calvin Klein fragrances, licensed to Unilever Cosmetics International (UCI). As reported, those brands are also said to be up for sale.