Gildan Activewear Inc. is pushing for a greater presence in the printwear market, and is doing so via an agreement to acquire substantially all of the assets of Comfort Colors for $100 million.
Comfort Colors, based in Northfield, Vt., is the leading supplier of dyed undecorated basic T-shirts and sweatshirts for the North American printwear market. Gildan said payment will be in cash and financed from its bank credit facility.
Comfort Colors buys prepared-for-dye apparel from third-party vendors, including the Montreal. Quebec-based Gildan, and then treats the apparel through customized in-house dyeing processes.
For the 12 months ended Dec. 31, it had net sales of $95 million, or $55 million adjusted for the exclusion of Gildan sales of undecorated shirts to Comfort Colors.
Separately, Gildan posted a first-quarter net loss of $41.2 million, or 34 cents a diluted share, for the period ended Jan. 4, against net income of $41.7 million, or 34 cents, a year ago. Net sales fell 13.5 percent to $390.6 million from $451.4 million.
The company also said the board approved a 2-for-1 stock split in the form of a share dividend, which will be paid on March 27 to shareholders of record on the close of business on March 20.