Economy

Big Tex's Outfitter, Williamson-Dickie, Sold for $820 Million

Big Tex's Outfitter, Williamson-Dickie, Sold for $820 Million

Well-known Williamson-Dickie brands include: Dickies®, Workrite®, Kodiak®, Terra®, and Walls®.

VF Corp., a company that manages multiple clothing and footwear brands, announced Monday it has agreed to acquire privately owned Texas-based Williamson-Dickie Manufacturing Co. for $820 million in cash, in a deal guided by Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP.

VF Corp.is back in the deal-making game.

"For almost a century we've worked hard to judiciously grow our company and portfolio of strong brands to maintain our leadership in the global work-wear marketplace", said Philip Williamson, Chief Executive Officer of Williamson-Dickie, who will remain with the company after the merger.

VF said buying Williamson-Dickie will especially increase its sales for health-care and service apparel.

However, before Monday's announcement, the company had more recent activity selling divisions - Contemporary Brands unit on August 26 and Licensed Sports Group on April 28 - than acquisitions. The company called the $30 billion workwear market, "large, growing and under-penetrated", and says its expects the addition of Dickies to double VF's workwear business, provide scalability and provide access to new growth pools.

"Today's announcement is an authentic and natural next step as we look to combine the strengths of our two companies to create significant opportunities for our employees, vendors, retail partners and ultimately our customers". Philip Williamson, Chief Executive Officer of Williamson-Dickie will remain with the company, headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas. Revenue is now expected to reach $11.85 billion, up 3.5 percent on a reported basis - or 4.5 percent currency-neutral - and includes about a $200 million contribution from Williamson-Dickie.

VF Corporation, whose brands include Timberland, Wrangler and The North Face, last month said revenues in its Imagewear business rose 12% to $150m.

The NYSE-listed firm said its earnings per share are now expected to be US$2.96 for 2017, up from previous guidance of US$2.94, while 2017 revenue is expected to total US$11.85bn, up from US$11.65bn previously. More details can be found at VF Corp's investor relations page.

"Strategically, Williamson-Dickie brings VF exposure to the healthcare and service segments of the workwear market, as well as lifestyle opportunities".