Byline: Rosemary Feitelberg

NEW YORK — Ridgeview Inc. said Thursday it has signed a letter of intent to be acquired by an unidentified company for $1 per share, or about $3 million.
Although not disclosed by the troubled hosiery maker, the acquiring company is understood to be Gabor, an Israeli-based hosiery producer. Executives at Ridgeview couldn’t be reached for comment.
The letter of intent is subject to the negotiation of a mutually satisfactory merger deal and due diligence, according to the statement released by Ridgeview.
Ridgeview, the maker of licensed Ellen Tracy, Evan-Picone and Dolce Calze legwear, earlier this week announced plans to close its branded hosiery division and dismissed more than 50 people. That decision was made after Ridgeview nixed plans to sell the hosiery division to the unit’s president, Barry Tartarkin, for $8.4 million in cash.
Getting out of the branded hosiery business, which generated about $25 million in annual sales, was part of the company’s plan to focus on its sport and mass market business.
Ridgeview recently announced that it would not be able to file its annual report for the year ended Dec. 31, 1999, with the SEC bay April 14, the extended due date for filing the report. The company cited the abandoned sale of the company and a new information system as causing the delay.
The company expects to report a loss for the year between $3.10 and $3.40 per share. Through the first nine months of 1999, Ridgeview lost $1.9 million, or 63 cents per share, on sales of $76 million, which was 3 percent above the prior-year period.
Founded in 1912, Ridgeview is based in Newton, N.C., and has manufacturing facilities in Mebane, N.C.; Ft. Payne, Ala., and Tralee, Ireland.