Destination Maternity has agreed a deal to merge with France's Orchestra Prémaman in a move that will create a leading global provider of maternity apparel, childrenswear and baby hard goods.

The agreement, which values Destination Maternity at around US$100m, will create a company with more financial flexibility, greater distribution and better sourcing capabilities. It puts an end to a takeover battle that has continued for more than a year between the two, with Orchestra, which has a 13.3% stake in Destination Maternity, urging the company to engage in acquisition talks.

Destination's chairman Arnaud Ajdler, says the transaction will enhance its competitive position and "open up new avenues of growth" for their respective brands in the US, Europe, and beyond.

"Likewise, consumers will benefit from a significantly expanded product offering that will meet their maternity and early childhood needs made available across multiple channels."

Under the terms of the deal, Destination Maternity shareholders will receive 0.5150 Orchestra Prémaman shares for each of their shares. The combined company is expected to have pro forma revenues of around $1.1bn.

Pierre Mestre, Orchestra's founder and chairman, adds: "We are excited to bring together two companies that share a common vision to make innovative, fashionable and practical maternity goods and childrenswear available to the masses.

"We are confident this merger will allow us to better compete in the rapidly changing retail landscape, benefiting our collective stakeholders over the long-term. We are excited to welcome Destination's accomplished executives and associates to the Orchestra family."

In its last quarter, Destination Maternity failed to meet company expectations, despite making progress on a number of its initiatives. Adjusted net losses widened to US$1.2m from $0.6m a year earlier, while sales dropped to $102.6m from $119.5m.