Gear For Sports markets the Champion brand to college campuses

Gear For Sports markets the Champion brand to college campuses

Apparel company Hanesbrands has moved to acquire licensed clothing business Gear For Sports in a deal valued at US$225m.

The US company is paying $55m in cash for GearCo, the official trading name of Gear For Sports, and also assuming about $170m in debt. The deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter.

Gear For Sports sells embellished licensed apparel in collegiate bookstores under several brand names, including Hanesbrands’ Champion label.

The business recorded sales of about $225m and an operating profit margin of 11% of sales in the year to June, Hanesbrands said.

“This acquisition will create great value and immediately add to our growth momentum,” said Richard Noll, Hanesbrands chairman and CEO.

“We have significant growth synergies in both the collegiate bookstore channel and our existing retail channels, and can take advantage of our low-cost global supply chain.”

Gear for Sports’ senior management will remain in place, with the company’s offices staying in Kansas, Hanesbrands said.

Gear For Sports president Larry Graveel intends to retire, but will remain in post for at least six months, it added.

The deal is expected to be immediately accretive to earnings per share.