VF Corp, owner of Vans, The North Face, Dickies, Reef and more has agreed a deal to acquire New Zealand-based merino specialists Icebreaker.
Press Release: VF Corporation (NYSE: VFC), a global leader in branded lifestyle apparel, footwear and accessories, and Icebreaker Holdings, Ltd., a privately held company based in Auckland, New Zealand, today announced that they have signed a definitive purchase agreement. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
On a trailing 12-month basis, Icebreaker Holdings generated approximately $150 million of revenue. The transaction is expected to be completed early in 2018 and the addition of the Icebreaker® brand to VF’s portfolio is expected to be immediately accretive to earnings per share.
The Icebreaker® brand was founded in 1995 on the belief that “nature always has a better solution,” and its entire product assortment is based on Merino wool, plant-based fibers and recycled fibers. Its “farm to garment” approach uses Merino wool sourced from the most sustainable and ethical Merino farms in New Zealand. Icebreaker® has 340 full-time employees and its products are sold in 47 countries through wholesale channels and branded retail and e-commerce platforms.
“Bringing the Icebreaker® brand into the VF portfolio is a special opportunity,” said Steve Rendle, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of VF Corporation. “Its natural fiber focus is an ideal complement to our SmartWool® brand, which also features Merino in its clothing and accessories. Together, the SmartWool® and Icebreaker® brands create an advantaged position for VF as a leader in the growing and underpenetrated natural fiber category. We will have unmatched capabilities that will strengthen our ability to create innovative and sustainable natural fiber products across our brand portfolio, especially in VF’s Outdoor and Workwear brands.”
“I founded Icebreaker® to offer a natural choice to adventurers, and to build a global brand from New Zealand,” said Jeremy Moon, Founder, Icebreaker Holdings. “Our partnership with VF provides us with the largest platform in the world to tell our story, access new markets and reach new consumers at an accelerated pace. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for our global Icebreaker® brand team and for our wool suppliers to introduce a whole new universe of consumers to the benefits of sustainably farmed, ethically sourced, New Zealand Merino wool.”
“Jeremy’s goal was to build a global community that believed in his vision that nature held the answers to creating sustainable, high-performance outdoor clothing,” said Rob Fyfe, Chairman of Icebreaker Holdings. “Today the Merino apparel category is one of the fastest growing categories in both the outdoor and active urban clothing markets around the globe.”
Barclays is acting as exclusive financial advisor to VF Corporation and Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP is acting as legal advisor.