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Delta Apparel to Acquire the Cotton Exchange

Deal to boost firm's sales by $25M.

Delta Apparel Inc. has agreed to acquire HPM Apparel Inc., which markets U.S.-produced collegiate fashions to college bookstores under The Cotton Exchange brand. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.

Robert Humphreys, Delta’s chairman and chief executive officer, said the deal furthers the company’s efforts to tap into the college bookstore market, while also adding to its business with the military and other retail channels.

“In addition, this business provides us additional U.S. screen print and embroidery capacity, further enhancing our speed to market initiatives,” he said.

HPM, which operates under The Cotton Exchange name, will continue to be based in Wendell, N.C., and the firm’s 290 workers will all be offered continued employment.

Delta said the deal would add about $25 million in sales to the fiscal year ending July 2, 2011, while being slightly accretive to earnings.

Delta’s M.J. Soffe Co. activewear unit, acquired in 2003, also supplies college bookstores. Delta acquired Gekko Brands, a headwear supplier, in 2009 following the 2006 purchase of FunTees Inc., a T-shirt supplier, and, in 2005, the acquisition of Liquid Blaino Designs Inc., which does business as Junkfood Clothing

The firm has just completed its 2010 fiscal year. In 2009, it generated net income of $6.5 million on sales of $355.2 million.

Shares of Delta Apparel Thursday closed at $14.51, down 9 cents or 0.6 percent.