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Tommy Talks Escalate, With Jones and VF Said To Be Suitors

While Tommy Hilfiger hasn’t hung out a “For Sale” sign, sources say vigorous discussions might be going on with Jones Apparel Group and VF...

One market observer said he feels any company that acquires Hilfiger would most likely be a strategic buyer, rather than a financial one, since financial players are more comfortable with growth opportunity and having top management stay in place.

Anita Britt, executive vice president of finance for Jones, said the company had no comment on acquisition rumors.

A VF spokeswoman couldn’t be reached for comment Thursday, but said last week: "We are actively looking. The company is concentrating on [acquisitions with] high returns in our profitable areas, which are jeanswear, intimate apparel and our outdoor businesses." She added, "We remain interested in a lifestyle sportswear brand that could cover multiple areas."

As for timing, she said, "We are hopeful to have something that we can do this year, but it will have to be the right opportunity, the right price and the right time."
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