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VF to buy workwear manufacturer Williamson-Dickie for $820m

RBR Staff Writer Published 16 August 2017

Texas-based workwear manufacturer Williamson-Dickie Mfg. has agreed to merge with apparel and footwear retail giant VF in an all-cash deal of nearly $820m.

VF stated that the acquisition is in line with its commitment to active portfolio. It expects to expand its growing workwear platform further with the addition of the global workwear company.

The merger of Williamson-Dickie with VF is anticipated to create a leading player having a line-up of iconic brands in the workwear manufacturing segment with annual revenue estimated to be around $1.7bn.

Williamson-Dickie, which is the owner of Dickies and Workrite workwear brands, had generated about $875m of revenue o a trailing 12-month basis.

VF president and CEO Steve Rendle said: “When we introduced our 2021 global business strategy earlier this year, reshaping our portfolio to accelerate growth was our highest priority.

“The acquisition of Williamson-Dickie is another meaningful step that delivers on that commitment and further demonstrates our focus on being an active portfolio manager to drive transformative growth for VF and value creation for our shareholders.”

After the completion of the merger, VF’s existing workwear brands Wrangler RIGGS Workwear, Red Kap, Bulwark, Timberland PRO, and Horace Small will be joined by Williamson-Dickie’s brands that include Dickies, Workrite, Walls, Kodiak and Terra.

VF is also the owner of lifestyle brands like Vans, The North Face, Timberland, Lee and Wrangler.

Post merger, Williamson-Dickie will operate under VF’s Imagewear coalition. Philip Williamson, the incumbent CEO of Williamson-Dickie will be retained with the company which will continue to be headquartered in Fort Worth.

Williamson said: “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.

“We expect that under VF’s leadership, we’ll be able to experience the next wave of growth and better meet the needs of workers everywhere.”

About 7,000 employees of Williamson-Dickie would be absorbed by the Greensboro, North Carolina-based VF post merger which is likely to be completed early in the fourth quarter of 2017.

Image: Vans retail store located in the Del Amo Fashion Center in Torrance, California. Photo: courtesy of VF Corporation.