TROPICAL EYES BUGLE BOY

Byline: Kristi Ellis

LOS ANGELES — A bidding war over the assets of bankrupt Bugle Boy Industries could be heating up between two Florida-based men’s wear forces, Perry Ellis International and Tropical Sportswear International Corp.
The conflict between the two parties could come to a head today as they square off over the trade name, licensing operation and other assets of Bugle Boy at a court auction, scheduled by a U.S. Bankruptcy Court judge.
Tropical Sportswear, a publicly traded company based in Miami, Fla., announced Tuesday that it was considering a bid for the Bugle Boy name, receivables and wholesale inventories. The company is currently conducting its due diligence and has not signed a letter of intent, according to Michael Kagan, chief executive officer.
“The brand is well-known and has a high recognition value,” said Kagan. “We feel that this would be good fit to our business”
TSI, which posted volume of $473 million for the year ended Sept. 30, manufactures branded and private label men’s and women’s casual and dress sportswear. It owns such brands as Savane, Farah, Bay to Bay, Flyers, The Original Khaki Co., Two Peppers and Authentic Chino. Licensed brands include Bill Blass, John Henry and Van Heusen.
Perry Ellis said on Feb. 8 that it had signed a letter of intent to acquire the trade name, licensing operation and other assets of the Bugle Boy wholesale operation subject to due diligence and bankruptcy court approval.
In a statement, George Feldenkreis, Perry Ellis chairman and chief executive, said that the acquisition would position Perry Ellis as the leading branded men’s sportswear producer in the U.S. while also making the company a stronger competitor in the bottoms, denim and young men’s businesses.
As reported earlier in these columns, Haggar and Phillips-Van Heusen were also among the major men’s wear dominated companies that were reported to be interested in acquiring Bugle Boy. Both firms have declined comment.
Bugle Boy, based in Simi Valley, Calif., filed Chapter 11 on Feb.1 and has begun closing more than 150 outlet store locations. Its headquarters and distribution facility in Simi Valley were sold prior to the filing.
The company had amassed more than $100 million in debt prior to filing the bankruptcy.

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