North Face firm to tie up $2bn Timberland deal
Published 14/06/2011 | 05:00
VF Corp, owner of the North Face clothing brand and chain, is buying footwear maker Timberland Co for $2bn (€1.38bn) to boost sales of outdoor gear, its biggest business. The deal will help VF "build the premier portfolio of outdoor brands", chief executive Eric Wiseman told investors yesterday, noting that Timberland was at the top of a shortlist of targets for VF.
The deal values Timberland at $43 a share, a 43pc premium to its closing price of $29.99 on Friday on the New York Stock Exchange. Outdoor clothing, such as fleece vests and hiking pants, was VF's fastest growing segment last quarter, with sales up 16pc.
The Timberland deal would complement that by vastly beefing up VF's offerings of items such as hiking boots and sandals. Footwear accounts for 75pc of Timberland sales.
Mr Wiseman said that VF was open to buying other outdoor brands, particular those with strong international and online businesses.
VF's brands and store chains run the gamut from high-end lines such as John Varvatos and 7 For All Mankind to moderately priced lines such as Lee and Wrangler jeans.