Byline: Rosemary Feitelberg

NEW YORK — Active Apparel Group has sealed the deal to buy Everlast.
AAG’s shareholders gave the agreement the green light during a special meeting Tuesday at the company’s corporate offices at 1350 Broadway here, and the company announced the $60 million cash and stock deal Wednesday.
AAG revealed its plans in August to buy Everlast, a brand with $200 million in annual retail sales, as reported. The new company is now operating under the name Everlast Worldwide.
George Horowitz, chairman and chief executive officer of Everlast Worldwide, said that improving relationships with licensees, pursuing new markets for the brand and unveiling products will be key initiatives. Protecting the integrity of the 90-year-old brand is essential, he added.
Having produced Everlast’s women’s activewear since 1992, the company plans to continue to make that category a priority. Last year, the firm added Everlast men’s activewear to its mix.
“This brand and business is about a lot more than boxing,” Horowitz said. “It’s also about activewear for fitness, working out and casualwear. Women’s activewear is close to my heart because it’s where we started this brand. That’s what took us to where we are today. We’re paying more attention to it and will continue to build it.”
There are plans to work with licensors to help them increase sales for women’s activewear, which accounted for about two-thirds of AAG’s $30 million in wholesale volume last year, he said.
Hal Worsham has joined the company as senior vice president of global licensing, a new post, to oversee the brand’s international licensing efforts. Most recently, Worsham was director of worldwide licensing and public relations for Converse.
Athletic bags, backpacks, hats and eyewear are some of the new licenses Everlast is looking into, Worsham said. Back-to-school stationery products such as notebooks, binders and folders are also being considered, since those items help improve brand exposure, he said.