By  on December 20, 2010

Staying in acquisition mode, the Komar Co. has signed a letter of intent to purchase the St. Eve and St. Eve Kids brands and assets from Russell-Newman Inc.

“We are currently going through due diligence, and there’s a good chance we can structure this deal,” said Charles Komar, president and chief executive officer of the Komar Co., the largest independent innerwear firm in the U.S., with annual wholesale sales of $500 million.

The St. Eve label, which generates about $100 million in wholesale revenues, specializes in cotton underwear and sleepwear for women and children. The deal could close by Jan. 31. Financial terms were not disclosed.

“We’re in sleepwear and underwear for women and kids, so the synergies are compelling,” Komar said in an interview. “The St. Eve name has a long legacy, has a great product and is a well-recognized brand.”

Komar this month acquired the Carole Hochman Design Group, an 80-year-old sleepwear, daywear and foundations firm that generates volume of $150 million to $200 million annually. In May 2009, Komar purchased the assets of O’Bryan Bros. Inc., an 89-year-old Chicago-based warmwear brand with estimated wholesale volume in excess of $50 million. In October 2007, Komar bought the assets of CC Girl, a leading department store tween lingerie brand with wholesale revenues of about $10 million.

St. Eve was founded in 1976 as an importer and distributor of women’s undergarments. Denton, Tex.-based Russell-Newman produces, markets and distributes sleepwear, loungewear and intimate apparel by KN Karen Neuburger; Carol Malony; Cypress; Cypress Bed, Bath and Spa, and the licensed Laura Ashley brand. St. Eve was acquired by Russell-Newman in October 2007.

New York-based Komar, which was founded in 1908, produces sleepwear, daywear and underwear by licensed brands such as Donna Karan, DKNY, Ellen Tracy, Liz Claiborne, Eileen West and Kenzie, a young contemporary brand.

Asked if the company is looking to purchase more brands in 2011, Komar replied, “St. Eve is what we’re buying today.”

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