KELLWOOD ACQUIRES ROMANCE DU JOUR

Byline: Kristi Ellis

LOS ANGELES — Kellwood Co. said Monday it had acquired Romance du Jour, a privately held sleepwear company based in Los Angeles.
Intimate apparel represents one of four “major platforms for growth” for Kellwood, Hal Upbin, Kellwood’s chairman, president and chief executive officer, said in a statement. He also mentioned that Romance du Jour will complement Kellwood’s current sleepwear offerings under the L.A. Intimates division. Kellwood acquired L.A. Intimates in 1993.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Kellwood has been aggressively acquiring companies of late. In August, it acquired Dorby Frocks, a privately held maker of junior dresses and career apparel with more than $100 million in sales. The $2.2 billion apparel giant also acquired Koret of California and Fritzi California — two San Francisco powerhouses in the moderate category — in December 1998.
Romance du Jour, founded in 1989, produces a range of products, from basic sleepwear to embellished special occasion-bridal intimates, under the labels Romance du Jour, Dentelle, Intimate Affair and Alexandra Nicole, as well as private label.
“It is a real opportunity to grow our company much larger,” said Steve Rome, president of Romance du Jour. “It makes us one of the largest sleepwear companies to service this market in the world.”
He said that the two Kellwood divisions: Romance and L.A. Intimates, represent a total of about $70 million in volume. He added that the combined volume could hit $120 million in the next three years.Under the terms of the deal, Rome will continue to oversee Romance du Jour’s business operations and will report to Charles Rumbley, president of Kellwood Intimate Apparel.

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