Phillips-Van Heusen, the world's largest shirt company, is to buy neckwear manufacturer Superba Inc in a cash deal worth $110m.

Privately-held Superba makes and distributes ties in the US and Canada under both private label and brand names such as DKNY, Tommy Hilfiger, Nautica, Perry Ellis, Ted Baker, and Michael Kors.

Its current year net sales are estimated to be in the region of $140m.

The agreement with Phillips-Van Heusen includes an earn-out based on Superba's earnings for the next three years, up to a maximum value of $70m, and is expected to close on 1 January 2007.

Superba's marketing, sales and design organisations are based in New York City and its manufacturing and back office operations are based in Los Angeles.

It is known for both its hand-tailored neckwear offered through its Insignia Division, and its machine made neckwear offered through its Superba Division.

Emanuel Chirico, chief executive officer of Phillips-Van Heusen Corporation, said Superba's management will remain intact after the acquisition.

He added: "We believe their manufacturing operation in Los Angeles provides the business with an advantage, both because of the quality of the ties produced there, as well as the reduction in time needed to get their product on customers' floors."

Mr Chirico said the transaction will be modestly accretive to earnings beginning in 2007.