Tommy Hilfiger sold to Phillips-Van Heusen

By Ben Rooney, staff reporter

NEW YORK ( -- Phillips-Van Heusen announced plans Monday to buy Tommy Hilfiger, which is controlled by private equity firm Apax Partners, for roughly $3 billion in cash and stock.

The combination would create one of the largest apparel makers in the world, with estimated global revenue of $4.6 billion, the companies said in a statement.

Phillips-Van Heusen, which owns Calvin Klein and Izod, said it expects the purchase to boost earnings before it realizes one-time costs and accounting charges related to the deal.

Under the terms of the deal, Phillips-Van Heusen will pay Apex €1.9 billion in cash and €276 million worth of PVH common stock. As a result, Apex will own about 13% of the company.

Shares of Phillips-Van Heusen, or PVH (PVH), were up nearly 13% to $53.90 on the New York Stock Exchange.

In a conference call with analysts, the executives said the deal was timed to take advantage of an improving global economic climate. There has been an uptick in mergers and acquisition activity recently as the U.S. economy has emerged from one of the worst recessions on record.

Emanuel Chirico, PVH's chairman and chief executive, said the acquisition is part of the conglomerate's strategy to expand its overseas operations.

"Tommy Hilfiger has continued to gain momentum in Europe and Asia, while successfully rebuilding its business in North America, producing impressive overall performance," Chirico said.

Tommy Hilfiger, which was bought by Apex in 2006, had struggled domestically during the early part of the last decade. But the brand has become increasingly popular outside of the United States, where the company draws about 65% of its revenue.

"The management team of Tommy Hilfiger has done an outstanding job in growing the business in a very difficult economic time," said Christian Stahl, a partner at Apax Partners. "PVH has a track record of smoothly integrating world class brands and creating a strong platform for significant future growth."

Tommy Hilfiger himself, who developed the company's all American aesthetic, will remain in his role as principal designer and "visionary" for the brand. The company's chief executive, Fred Gehring, will also remain in place.

"The scale of the combined company in the U.S. will deliver obvious benefits for both companies," Gehring said. "Tommy Hilfiger's significant international presence and infrastructure offers an opportunity for PVH to introduce a number of its brands into the international market." To top of page

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