Norwegian outdoor clothing brand Helly Hansen has been acquired by Canadian retail group Canadian Tire Corporation (CTC) in a deal worth nearly US$1bn.

The company has been acquired from the Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan, which owns and operates the Helly Hansen brands and related businesses.

Outdoor and workwear categories are core to CTC's retail banners and, through the Mark's and FGL brands, the company has had a long history with Helly Hansen as one of its largest customers. The acquisition strengthens CTC's core businesses across multiple banners, increases its brand offerings in Canada and its ability to grow its brands internationally.

"For more than ten years, Helly Hansen has been an exceptional fit with CTC and this acquisition will strengthen our assortment across all of our banners," says Stephen Wetmore, president and CEO, Canadian Tire Corporation. "With our capabilities and Helly Hansen's trusted global brand and management team, we see tremendous opportunity for CTC and Helly Hansen, in Canada and internationally."

Helly Hansen is known for its professional grade gear and for designing innovative and high quality technical performance products developed for the harshest outdoor conditions. Within its core categories of sailing, skiing, mountain, urban, rainwear and workwear, Helly Hansen designs and delivers products used by professionals and outdoor enthusiasts globally. The company has wholesale and retail distribution capabilities across more than 40 countries.

"CTC provides us with the ideal platform to further accelerate our growth trajectory and also strengthen our Canadian presence," says Helly Hansen CEO Paul Stoneham. "This is a great opportunity for Helly Hansen and our team. As a Canadian, I am particularly proud to say that Canadian Tire is the new home for Helly Hansen."

CTC has agreed to purchase the company that owns and operates the Helly Hansen brands and related businesses for $985m, and is assuming around $50m of operating debt, net of cash.

The acquisition is expected to close in the third quarter and is subject to usual closing conditions.

The transaction will be immediately accretive to EPS, EBITDA and cash flow, before the realisation of synergies. CTC says it has ample financial flexibility to fund the acquisition and to maintain its current investment grade credit rating.

Helly Hansen CEO Paul Stoneham, and the management team based in Oslo, will continue to lead the business, reporting to CTC executive vice president Mahes Wickramasinghe.