OIO signs off on Icebreaker sale to US clothing giant VF Corp
By Sophie Boot
April 4 (BusinessDesk) - Icebreaker Holdings has been sold to US-based VF Corporation for at least $100 million after the Overseas Investment Office approved the deal.
In a media release today, North Carolina-based VF Corp said the OIO signed off on the transaction, which completed the transaction. The acquisition "is an ideal complement to VF’s Smartwool brand, which also features merino wool in its clothing and accessories. Together, the Smartwool and Icebreaker brands will position VF as a global leader in the merino wool and natural fibre categories." The brand is expected to be immediately accretive to VF’s earnings per share, it said.
Icebreaker said it was "incredibly excited by the new opportunities for Icebreaker."
Last year, the New Zealand merino wool outdoor clothing company confirmed the deal would need OIO approval due to the size of the transaction, implying a minimum value of at least $100 million, although the terms of the deal have not been disclosed. Icebreaker had annual sales of $220 million in the last financial year, of which 86 percent were in offshore markets, and its own outlets and e-commerce sales made up 32 percent of sales, according to the company's latest statement.
NYSE-listed VF Corp has a market capitalisation of around US$29.5 billion and its portfolio includes The North Face, Timberland, SmartWool, Vans, Wrangler and Lee. The company lifted 2017 revenue 7 percent to US$11.8 billion generating a profit of US$615 million. It previously said the "purchase price is not material to VF."