Apparel producer Oxford Industries Inc on Monday announced plans to buy the owner of the Tommy Bahama brand, Viewpoint International Inc, for up to $325 million in cash, common stock and contingent payments.

The Georgia-based company said the deal, which is expected to close in June, will see it acquire the Seattle-based operator of 30 Tommy Bahama retail stores which sell "beach lifestyle" apparel as well as sportswear and swimwear.

Oxford has agreed to buy Viewpoint, which enjoyed net sales of $330m in fiscal 2003, with $240m in cash, $10m in stock and up to $75m in contingent payments, subject to the achievement of certain performance targets.

"The addition of the Tommy Bahama brand to our existing portfolio represents a strategic opportunity for us to further diversify our products over a wider range of price points and distribution channels and to penetrate a particularly attractive consumer demographic," commented Oxford chairman and president, J Hicks Lanier.

"Tony Margolis, Lucio Dalla Gasperina, Bob Emfield and their management team have done a spectacular job of creating and building Tommy Bahama into a widely recognised consumer lifestyle brand."

Tommy Bahama president and CEO, Tony Margolis, added: "Their (Oxford's) willingness to allow us and our management team to continue to direct the future of our company and to pursue our vision makes this transaction a comfortable one for us. We look forward to this new association with great enthusiasm."