The Hot Tuna, Xisle, Piranha Boy and Piranha Girl apparel brands are heading for the US after Aussie Apparel Group Ltd yesterday signed a definitive acquisition agreement worth $7.5 million with Australia's Federation Group.

The deal, with an effective date of 31 December 2002, was first announced in October 2002.

As part of the completed deal, Federation Group will retain an ownership stake in Aussie Apparel Group Ltd.

"We intend to build Aussie Apparel Group into a global action sports apparel entity," said Aussie Apparel Group's president/CEO Bruce MacGregor . "And we will continue to look for acquisition possibilities within the board sports apparel segment that will compliment our core brands."

On the question of distribution, MacGregor stated: "The Hot Tuna, Xisle and Piranha clothing lines will be distributed through different distribution channels, which again, only increases the revenue potential for the company."

Rod Williams, previously CEO of Hot Tuna Australia, will assume two roles, general manager of the Aussie Apparel Group in Australia and senior vice president of international sales. Prior to Hot Tuna, Mr Williams led the international sales efforts at RipCurl and Timberland.

In addition, Mr Stewart Kawamura has been appointed as national sales manager of the Hot Tuna brand in the United States.