Icebreaker is a privately held firm based in Auckland, New Zealand. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed and the deal is expected to close in early 2018.
According to VF, Icebreaker generated about $150 million of revenue on a trailing 12-month basis. The company is expected to be immediately accretive to VF’s earnings per share.
Icebreaker, which was founded in 1995, is known for a product line based on merino wool, plant-based fibers and recycled fibers. The wool is sourced from sustainable and ethical merino farms in New Zealand.
Steve Rendle, VF’s chairman, president and chief executive officer, said the Icebreaker brand’s “natural fiber focus is an ideal complement to our SmartWool brand, which also features merino in its clothing and accessories. Together, the Smartwool and Icebreaker brands create an advantaged position for VF as a leader in the growing and under-penetrated natural fiber category.”
Jeremy Moon, founder of Icebreaker, said the deal with VF will enable the company to have a larger platform to tell “our story, access new markets and reach new consumers at an accelerated pace.”
Icebreaker’s chairman Rob Fyfe noted that the merino apparel category “is one of the fastest-growing categories in both the outdoor and active urban clothing markets around the globe.”
In a recent telephone interview with WWD, Rendle said acquisitions remain an opportunity for growth. Last month, the company closed on its acquisition of Williamson-Dickie for $820 million in cash, a move that helps it expand its workwear business.