Gildan’s board has confirmed after recent media reports that it has received a “confidential non-binding expression of interest to acquire Gildan” and it has formed a Special Committee of independent directors to “review and consider the merits of the proposal” as well as “any alternative transaction”.

Gildan added that this could include “maintaining the status quo and continuing to execute on Gildan’s existing business plan”.

The company explained its Special Committee has consulted with legal and financial advisors. It also said that it has considered the interests of its shareholders and other stakeholders and decided that it is in its “best interests” to “contact other potential bidders with a view to maximising the value of any potential transaction”.

The Special Committee with help from the financial advisors has already contacted a small number of reputable potential counterparties.

The clothing manufacturer added that “several” of them “expressed an interest in considering a potential friendly transaction with Gildan”.

Despite these developments, Gildan Activewear emphasised there is no guarantee these discussions will result in a transaction.

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However, the company said it will continue to provide updates as “appropriate”.

A potential sale comes after an ongoing dispute between Gildan’s board of directors and some of its shareholders.

It started in December when Gildan’s board announced the company’s CEO Glenn Chamandy would be stepping down from his role and replaced by Vince Tyra, a former executive at Fruit of the Loom.

Some Gildan Activewear shareholders initiated efforts to reinstall Chamandy as CEO after the describing the move as “hasty, inexplicable and value destructive”.

Last week (12 March) longstanding shareholder Browning West filed a lawsuit against the manufacturer to ensure the annual meeting that is scheduled to take place on 28 May goes ahead without any delays or obstructions.

Browning West sought to appoint an independent chair to oversee the meeting to ensure what it described as “a fair and transparent process” after what it claimed to be “desperate, wasteful and self-serving entrenchment tactics to date” by Gildan’s board of directors following the removal of former CEO Glenn Chamandy in December.

In a statement, released following the news of a potential sale, Browning West said that it was “naturally concerned” by this latest development.

Browning West said: “The board’s reactionary sale process underscores our message to shareholders last week that a meaningful reconstitution of the board is immediately required, even before the Annual Meeting in May.”

The company added: “Under no circumstances can the current board be trusted to oversee a sale process.”