The Komar Co., a 101-year-old innerwear firm, has acquired the assets of O’Bryan Bros. Inc., the 88-year-old Chicago-based warmwear manufacturer.
This story first appeared in the May 4, 2009 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
O’Bryan Bros. generates annual wholesale volume in excess of $50 million, according to industry estimates. Acquired assets include the long-established Cuddl Duds brand, Chill Chasers, Cuddl Johns and Skinsations, as well as inventory, intellectual property and orders. A purchase price was not disclosed.
Charles Komar, president and chief executive officer of the Komar firm, which has estimated annual wholesale sales in excess of $125 million, said, “There’s nothing like the Cuddl Duds brand, because it has great quality and market share in women’s long underwear, about a 90 percent market share. The acquisition is also great because we plan to introduce Cuddl Duds for children, and that will complement our other two children’s businesses — Waterbury, which we bought in December, and Bees & Jam in 2006.”
Mark Sandler, formerly senior vice president of sales and marketing at O’Bryan Bros., has been named as president of the newly created Cuddl Duds division at Komar. He described the acquisition as a “smart fit” in a tough economy.
Michael O’Bryan, president of the second-generation O’Bryan Bros., couldn’t be reached for comment Friday. Sandler said O’Bryan “was not coming along with the deal.” In addition, Sandler said plans to close the Chicago office “are not firm right now.” The office employs about 15 people. O’Bryan’s New York showroom at 180 Madison Avenue will move to the Komar showrooms at 183 Madison Avenue.
“This is a very difficult economic time, and the credit crunch didn’t help,” said Sandler. “Unfortunately, O’Bryan Bros. was caught up in that and needed to be acquired. The acquisition is an incredibly positive move. Komar is a very sound, stable and financially stable company that is very sophisticated and knows its brands. They have the financial wherewithal to do the product development, marketing and promoting of the Cuddl Duds brand to be even more successful.”