The European Commission has issued its approval of Tommy Hilfiger 's agreement to be acquired by funds advised by Apax Partners.

This follows the previously announced termination of the waiting period under the US Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976.

Tommy Hilfiger, whose brands include Tommy Hilfiger and Karl Lagerfeld, announced in December 2005 that it was to be sold to private-equity investment group Apax Partners for $1.6bn or US$16.80 per share in cash

Subject to shareholder approval and other previously disclosed conditions, the company expects that this transaction will be completed in April 2006.