NEW YORK — The Warnaco Group said Wednesday it had completed the sale of its Hathaway men’s dress shirt business to an investor group.
As reported, the purchaser group, Hathaway Holdings Corp., is led by former Maine Governor John R. McKernan Jr. and Michael Liberty, a Maine businessman. A purchase price for the 160-year-old men’s shirt manufacturer was not disclosed.
In a telephone interview, Linda J. Wachner, Warnaco’s president, chairman and chief executive officer, said, “Wal-Mart played a big part in all of this. The story behind it is we’ve been trying to sell Hathaway for two years, and nobody wanted to buy the trademark. Wal-Mart was not going to buy the Hathaway name, but they stepped up to the plate and offered to take a certain amount of dozens, a good percentage of private label production going forward.”
Wachner would not give figures but noted, “It all has a happy ending — people’s jobs are saved, and we’re out of a business we didn’t want.”
Wal-Mart officials could not be reached.
Wachner further noted that under the terms of the transaction, Warnaco will receive an option to acquire 20 percent of the new company. “If business becomes unbelievably good, we can take advantage of it,” she said.
The two Hathaway plants — one in Waterville, Maine, and the other in Prescott, Ontario — employ an estimated 675 people.