Broder Bros Co, the US's largest imprintable sportswear wholesaler, has entered into a merger agreement with Full Line Distributors Inc, a manufacturer and distributor of similar products.

Under the terms of the agreement, a subsidiary of Broder Bros will file a cash tender offer for all common stock shares in Full Line Distributors at a price of $2.95 per share. The company's board of directors has unanimously approved the transaction and recommended that shareholders agree to the offer.

On closing the merger, Broder Bros intends to integrate Full Line's six distribution warehouses into its national network, effectively doubling the geographic reach of the combined company. Broder Bros also intends to explore the possibility of divesting Full Line's manufacturing business, but plans to continue marketing the proprietary Rabbit Skins and LAT Sportswear brands of the combined company in upcoming catalogues and product guides.

"This transaction drives the long-term strategic plan to maximise our core distribution business," said Vince Tyra, CEO of Broder Bros, which is based in Plymouth, Michigan and had approximately $440 million in revenues in 2000. "With the addition of Full Line's geographic presence, the combined company will be well positioned to capitalise on growth opportunities while enhancing our high standards of customer service."

"Full Line and Broder Bros. share a very similar, customer-driven philosophy," said Isador Mitzner, CEO of Full Line Distributors, which is headquartered in Atlanta and had approximately $100 million in revenues in 2000. "We are pleased to be part of Broder's future, and look forward to quickly and successfully integrating our two companies."