NEW YORK — In a move that places Perry Ellis International at the heart of the branded men’s sportswear business, the Miami-based company has signed a letter of intent to acquire Bugle Boy Industries’ trade name, licensing operation and certain other assets of its wholesale operation.
Bugle Boy, based in Simi Valley, Calif., filed Chapter 11 on Feb. 1 and has begun closing its more than 150 outlet store locations. Its headquarters and distribution facility in Simi Valley were sold prior to the filing.
PEI’s purchase is subject to due diligence and approval of the bankruptcy court. If consummated, however, it would bolster a brand stable that already includes its namesake designer name as well as numerous brands previously acquired from other companies, including Manhattan, John Henry, Career Club, Mondo di Marco, Munsingwear, Grand Slam and the Pro Player line acquired from bankrupt Fruit of the Loom for $1.3 million in cash last July.
George Feldenkreis, chairman and chief executive of PEI, said in a statement that the Bugle Boy name has a long history of high brand awareness ratings among consumers. “Indeed, the acquisition would position Perry Ellis as the leading branded men’s sportswear producer in the U.S., while also making us a much stronger competitive force in the bottoms, denim and young men’s businesses,” he said.
A leading male fashion brand in the Eighties, Bugle Boy had amassed more than $100 million in debt prior to filing for bankruptcy. Haggar and Phillips-Van Heusen were among the major men’s wear-dominated companies that were reported to be interested in acquiring Bugle Boy assets. Both firms declined comment when asked if they were pursuing assets of the firm.

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