Brand management company Iconix Brand Group has signed definitive deals to buy apparel brand Mossimo and lifestyle brand Mudd.

The purchase of Mossimo adds one of the largest apparel brands in the US to the Iconix portfolio, while buying Mudd will give the company a foothold in the moderate junior fashion category
Iconix plans to buy Mossimo's outstanding for US$7.50 per share, comprised of $3.25 a share in Iconix stock and $4.25 in cash. The total purchase price will be about $119m.

The transaction has been approved by the respective board of directors of both Iconix and Mossimo. The merger, which is subject to customary closing conditions, is expected to close in July 2006.

Mossimo designs apparel and related products, primarily under the Mossimo label, and licenses them to Target Corporation, which has exclusive rights for production and distribution of all Mossimo branded products sold in the U. The Mossimo brand is licensed to third parties in Australia, New Zealand, South America and Mexico.

Iconix will buy the Mudd brand from Mudd LLC, which is controlled by the Tack Fat Group International, a publicly traded apparel company based in Hong Kong. The estimated purchase price is $88m, comprised of approximately 50% cash and 50% Iconix stock.

The company will be assuming eleven existing license agreements for Mudd and will enter into a new agreement under which the Mudd brand name will be licensed for use in the core denim business to Mudd (USA) and the brand's founder Dick Gilbert.

The acquisition is still subject to clearance under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976 and expected to close in April.

Mudd markets lifestyle products under the Mudd brand name in the girls' and juniors' markets. The Mudd brand's distribution includes moderate department stores and specialty store chains.

Iconix chairman and CEO Neil Cole said: "We are very pleased with these two acquisitions which are expected to further diversify our revenue stream, strengthen our licensing and brand management platform and provide us with significant growth opportunities for the future.

"Our ability to attract powerful lifestyle brands and seamlessly integrate them into our business supports our leadership position in the marketplace and the compelling nature of our licensing model. Our goal is to maximise our existing brands, while at the same time aggressively pursuing strategic acquisitions."