FASHION BOX FASHIONS COCA-COLA EURO DEAL

MILAN — The Italian apparel manufacturer Fashion Box SpA is bringing Coca-Cola to the continent, but in jeans and sportswear rather than bottles and cans.
The two companies said in a statement Tuesday they had signed a joint venture agreement to distribute Coca-Cola Ware in continental Europe until 2009.
Additionally, Fashion Box — which makes the jeans and sportswear lines Replay, Replay & Sons and E-Play — has acquired a controlling stake in Action Apparal Ltd., the company that produces and distributes Coca-Cola Ware under license in the U.K. Action Apparal also owns and produces apparel under the Chilli Pepper, WSI and Watson Heavies brands.
Terms of the licensing agreement and the purchase price of the stake in Action weren’t disclosed.
The collection, which includes casual wear for men, women and children, is expected to generate global sales of $500 million, according to the statement. Coca-Cola Ware will make its continental European debut at the Interjeans fair in Cologne, Germany, that runs from Aug. 4 to 6.
“This joint venture will boost the sales of Fashion Box by 30 percent,” said Attilio Biancardi, the managing director of Fashion Box. “We look forward to using the experience accumulated by Action Apparal to build the line even further.”
Sales at Fashion Box, which is based in the town of Asolo in northeastern Italy, are approximately $175 million, 70 percent of which come from exports. The company markets its products in more than 50 countries.
The Coca-Cola Company granted its first license in 1980 and now has some 320 licenses for the production of more than 10,000 products under the Coca-Cola name. Blitzz International was licensed to produce and market a junior and girls’ sportswear line under the Coca-Cola Ware label in the U.S. last year. Murjani International held a license for Coca-Cola apparel in the mid-1980s.

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