US fashion group VF Corporation has described its US$2bn acquisition of outdoor apparel group Timberland as a "milestone", ending a year long analysis of potential targets.

VF's offer follows a company search that started with a list of 50 potential apparel brands, Eric Wiseman, chairman and chief executive officer of the company tells analysts at a webcast to discuss the acquisition

"At the very top of that list was Timberland," he says.

Wiseman described the acquisition as a "win-win" combination, with the combined companies pulling in combined annual revenues of around $10bn.

"This acquisition will provide VF with earnings accretion both immediately and beyond," he says.

The buyout, which is subject to customary conditions, including receipt of Timberland stockholder approval and applicable regulatory approvals, promises to be beneficial to VF on three fronts.

On one hand, it is in keeping with VF's strategy of growing its outdoor and action sports category. VF has already stated its intention to make this category 50% of total business and with the Timberland acquisition, which Wiseman says should reach 60% by 2015 following today's news.

Secondly, Timberland's international penetration in markets such as Japan will help bolster VF's global operations. Equally, VF's established international platforms in Europe, Asia and Latin America can also improve Timberland's penetration.

Finally, VF is also looking hone in on the central pillar of Timberland's business model - sustainability.

Jeffrey Swartz, president and chief executive officer of Timberland, tells the webcast: "Everybody at Timberland in very proud to be part of the most important outdoor clothing company on earth.

"Sustainability is deeply relevant to the outdoor industry. Stewarding the outdoors makes good business sense for outdoor brands like Timberland."

Wiseman adds: "We are pleased with our sustainability progress to date but know that we will benefit from Timberland's focus on sustainability."