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Victorious VF Nabs Designer Label With $586M Nautica Deal

VF Corp. is the latest player to land a major sportswear brand, scooping up Nautica Enterprises for $585.6 million in cash.

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When reached for comment, Varvatos said, “I’m working on next fall. I can’t say [if I’m going to VF] at this point in time. I’m a Nautica board member. I think it’s a great deal for the Nautica stockholders. I’m exploring my options with VF and in general,” he said.

Varvatos said he’s headed to Europe to put some initial things into the works for the launch of his women’s collection.

Sources said Sanders could possibly finance Varvatos in a new venture, since neither one has a contract with VF, but Varvatos declined comment.

“I’m not worried about it. I’m not worried about the continuation of the business. The business is strong in our own retail stores which are making money. Spring business was very strong at retail, and pre-fall business is very good, and our accounts are very enthusiastic. We just have to figure out the structure. We’ve established a fairly significant business for the designer world,” said Varvatos.

In a conference call to Wall Street on Monday, Mackey McDonald, VF’s chairman, president and chief executive officer, said, “This is a great day for the shareholders of both VF Corp. and Nautica. I know that those of you who have been following VF for some time know that we’ve been actively seeking acquisitions. Our company is in terrific shape: strong brands, a great balance sheet, cash flow and healthy margins.

“We’ve been looking for an opportunity to really leverage this powerful base with the infusion of new brands [and] new growth opportunities. We believe that we’ve been extremely disciplined and patient in our search for acquisitions and that approach has certainly paid off. I’m pleased to say that Nautica fits perfectly within our key strategic and financial parameters.”

McDonald noted that one of the reasons why Nautica was an attractive acquisition was because of the brand’s presence in the sportswear market. “Nautica provides VF with a sportswear platform we can use as a springboard for new growth opportunities. As you know we’re the strongest global player in categories such as jeanswear, intimate apparel, daypacks and outdoor apparel. But sportswear is the largest segment of the apparel industry and we intend to participate more fully in this category,” said McDonald.
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