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Hampshire Sells Scott James Brand

The brand has been sold back to its founder, Scott Kuhlman.

Hampshire Group, Ltd. has sold its Scott James brand back to its founder, Scott Kuhlman. The sale, terms of which were not disclosed, will allow Hampshire to “devote more resources to its core businesses of Hampshire Brands Menswear and Rio Garment,” the company said Tuesday.

“We are pleased to return the Scott James business back to Scott Kuhlman. He is the founder and creative talent behind the brand and we wish him the best of luck growing the business,” said Paul Buxbaum, chief executive officer of Hampshire. Customers of Scott James “should see no material change in the direction or operations of the brand,” Hampshire said.

As part of the transaction, Hampshire Group has entered into a license under which it may operate a subbrand, the SJ by Scott James diffusion line, in order “to continue or explore business opportunities with certain customers,” Hampshire said.

In January, Buxbaum took the reins of the Hampshire Group, replacing Heath Golden. Buxbaum had been a member of the company’s board since 2011, when the firm bought Rio. His goals, he said at that time, were to grow the company’s sourcing capabilities and its Rio manufacturing arm, and to focus on its recently expanded licensing deal with Dockers for knits and wovens.

In the three months ended March 30, Hampshire’s net losses grew to $5.4 million, or 72 cents a diluted share, from $5 million, or 74 cents, in the prior-year period. The reduction in loss per share was attributable to an increase in the number of shares outstanding.

Sales dropped 11.8 percent to $19.9 million from $22.6 million in the first quarter of 2012 as growth in sales from the new Dockers tops business failed to compensate for declines at Rio.