VF Corp. paid nearly 1.4-times sales to extend its outdoor business with Icebreaker.
At the end of last year, VF nabbed the New Zealand-based outdoor apparel brand for $204.3 million, according to regulatory filings here and in New Zealand. Icebreaker’s trailing 12-month revenue was $150 million when the deal was revealed in November and VF noted then that the brand was to be an immediate positive to its bottom line.
In a regulatory filing, Icebreaker said it “wished to fully realize [its] growth potential, and, in order to do that, recognized the need to connect the brand with an established international entity or group for global market access, logistics and management opportunities.”
The acquisition is set to close during the first quarter.
Along with VF’s $800.7 million acquisition of Williamson-Dickie Mfg. Co., the owner of staple workwear brands Dickies, Workrite and Kodiak, the company last year spent just over $1 billion on acquisitions.
The acquisition of Williamson-Dickie and Icebreaker, which looks to be a nice companion to VF’s The North Face and has a focus on ethical wool and sustainability, are a clear part of the company’s move away from contemporary apparel. VF in 2016 sold its contemporary brands group last year to Delta Galil for $120 million.
Williamson-Dickie was also the first acquisition by VF since its 2011 purchase of Timberland, as well as the first under the leadership of Steve Rendle, who became chief executive at the end of 2016.
Rendle has said that he likes workwear because “it’s disconnected from the carnage in the market right now.”
And there are more changes happening under his watch. VF is also letting go of its Nautica brand, which Authentic Brands Group is set to buy for an undisclosed sum.
Acquisitions are still a priority for VF, however. In March the company revealed plans to buy Altra, a performance footwear brand that offers a wearable tech quotient through connected analysis of a wearer’s movements as they run. A price for the deal has not been disclosed, but Altra’s trailing 12-month revenue is about $50 million and, as with Icebreaker, VF said the brand will provide an immediate profit boost when the acquisition closes this month.
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