T-shirt and sock maker Gildan Activewear has acquired apparel manufacturer Anvil Holdings for US$88m.

The deal will provide Gildan with a higher market share in the US distributor channel - as well as synergies as a result of the integration of the two businesses.

Anvil Holdings, which operates primarily through its Anvil Knitwear unit, supplies basic T-shirts and sport shirts for the printwear market. The company has built a reputation as a socially and environmentally responsible sportswear manufacturer, and is one of the world's largest users of organic cotton. 

It reported EBITDA of US$17m on revenue in excess of US$200m, in its fiscal year ended 28 January.

Following the acquisition, Gildan intends to continue to pursue further sales growth in the printwear market, through leveraging the combined strengths of the two companies.

"We believe that the acquisition of Anvil and the combination of the compatible cultures and strengths of our two companies will position Gildan to further enhance our product offering for our printwear customers and build further on our leadership position in this market," said Gildan president and CEO Glenn Chamandy.

"In addition, the projected economic returns from the acquisition are highly attractive and are expected to create further value for our shareholders."

Anthony Corsano, president and CEO of Anvil, will join Gildan's branded apparel division.

The acquisition will be financed through Gildan's bank credit facility. Gildan will not assume any of Anvil's outstanding debts.