Apparel maker Phillips-Van Heusen Corporation has bought privately-held Mulberry Thai Silks Inc, a manufacturer and distributor of neckwear in the US, for $10m in cash.

The deal gives Phillips-Van Heusen the rights to produce neckwear under the Kenneth Cole New York, Kenneth Cole Reaction, J Garcia, Liz Claiborne, Sean John, BCBG Max Azria, BCBG Attitude, US Polo Assn, Axcess, and Henry Jacobson brands.

Current neckwear sales for these brands are around $20-$25m.

Phillips-Van Heusen also acquired the rights to the Henry Jacobson lifestyle brand for all men's wear classifications worldwide.

Chief executive officer Emanuel Chirico said: "By acquiring the neckwear rights to these additional brands, we are building upon our core competency in this product area as well as increasing the number of brands for which we will be able to market both dress shirts and neckwear."

He added: "We believe these licensing arrangements provide opportunity for future growth."

The transaction will not have a material effect on earnings in 2008 but is expected to be modestly accretive beginning in 2009.

Phillips-Van Heusen Corporation is the world's largest shirt and neckwear company, and also owns and markets the Calvin Klein brand worldwide.