Vilebrequin sold for US$ 106 million to G-III Apparel Group

G-III Apparel Group Ltd. (GIII) has acquired privately-owned French luxury swimwear and apparel brand Vilebrequin for EUR 85.5 million, or about $106.2 million, as the apparel company looks to expand its offerings and global footprint.

The agreement also provides for up to an additional EUR 22.5 million, about $27.9 million, of contingent future payments based upon certain performance milestones related to growth over the next three years. The deal is expected to be neutral to G-III’s earnings for the fiscal year that ends January 2013.

Vilebrequin, is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland and has been owned since 2007 by private equity fund Fashion Fund I B.V. The brand, which is primarily distributed in specialty retail stores and shops in more than 50 countries, derives most of its revenue from sales in Europe and the U.S., though G-III said it believes the brand is capable of significant worldwide expansion.

Vilebrequin store

G-III also disclosed that Roland Herlory, most recently managing director of Hermes, will join Vilebrequin as Chief Executive Officer, effective September 1st. “We believe that this brand is very powerful and expect to add more retail locations throughout the world, as well as develop the business beyond its heritage in men’s swimwear, accessories and resort-wear,” said Chairman and Chief Executive Morris Goldfarb.

G-III, which makes licensed apparel for professional sports teams as well as brands such as Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger, has been under pressure from rising materials costs, a highly promotional environment and challenging weather conditions that have hurt demand for seasonal goods.

adapted from WSJ