ASB MAGAZINE: VF Corporation (NYSE: VFC) today announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to sell Reef® to The Rockport Group (Rockport) of Newton, Massachusetts. Rockport is a portfolio company of Charlesbank Capital Partners, LLC (Charlesbank), a middle-market private equity firm. While the sale price was not disclosed, in May 2018, the Rockport Group filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the United States. Rockport was previously owned by Adidas and was acquired by Charlesbank Capital Partners LLC in 2015 through the bankruptcy process for US$150 million. VF acquired Reef in 2005 and although no sale price was disclosed, Reef had reported sales of US$75 million (excluding royalties) in 2004.
Commenting on the agreement, VF’s Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer Steve Rendle said, “Reshaping VF’s brand portfolio to deliver sustainable, long-term growth and superior returns to shareholders remains our top priority. Today’s announcement is another step toward delivering on the commitments outlined in our multi-year business strategy. We are pleased to have reached this agreement with Rockport. The Reef brand is an iconic, beach lifestyle brand, and Rockport is well-positioned to guide its next phase of growth.”
Locally, Reef Australia Brand Manager Tim Barr said that “The new owners are ready to invest and grow Reef.” “ Other than that, it’s business as usual, our Global HQ remains where it is, and the executive team will remain in place as there are no plans to shift or change our existing distribution strategy.”
Charlesbank recently acquired Rockport, bringing in industry veteran (and former Crocs exec) Gregg Ribatt to head the established footwear company. Ribatt said, “Reef is a powerful brand with deep authenticity and an incredibly loyal customer base. We are excited to work with the strong leadership team that has been guiding Reef through its brand evolution and resurgence. We believe in the team’s growth plans across consumer, product and geographic expansion.”
Reef will operate as an independent global brand under The Rockport Group, and will maintain its Carlsbad, California, headquarters.
The transaction, which is expected to close in October 2018, is subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals for a closing to occur. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
PJ SOLOMON is serving as exclusive financial advisor to VF on the transaction. Davis Polk and Wardwell LLP is acting as legal advisor.
VF Corporation (NYSE: VFC) outfits consumers around the world with its diverse portfolio of iconic lifestyle brands, including Vans®, The North Face®, Timberland®, Wrangler® and Lee®. Founded in 1899, VF is one of the world’s largest apparel, footwear and accessories companies with socially and environmentally responsible operations spanning numerous geographies, product categories and distribution channels. VF is committed to delivering innovative products to consumers and creating long-term value for its customers and shareholders. For more information, visit www.vfc.com.
About The Rockport Group
The Rockport Group is home to the Rockport, Aravon, and Dunham brands. With its diverse assortment of men’s and women’s footwear, products from The Rockport Group can be found in various retail channels in more than 50 countries worldwide. Headquartered in the Greater Boston area, The Rockport Group is committed to its history of innovation and a consumer-centric approach to style, fit and comfort. For more information, visit www.rockport.com.
About Charlesbank Capital Partners
Based in Boston and New York, Charlesbank Capital Partners is a middle-market private equity investment firm managing more than $5 billion of capital. Charlesbank focuses on management-led buyouts and growth capital financings and also engages in opportunistic credit investments. The firm seeks to partner with strong management teams to build companies with sustainable competitive advantage and excellent prospects for growth. For more information, please visit www.charlesbank.com.
More Information To Follow.
VIA PRESS RELEASE