US apparel giant PVH Corp is to take full control of its Tommy Hilfiger China joint venture in a deal worth US$172m.

PVH, which already owns a 45% interest in TH Asia Ltd, is acquiring the remaining 55% stake from Apax Partners. The joint venture was set up in connection with PVH's acquisition of Tommy Hilfiger in 2010.

Since 2012, the first full year of operations after the joint venture acquired Tommy Hilfiger China from the former licensee, its business has doubled from around $70m in revenue to a projected $140m for 2015 with over 350 stores, of which 65 are directly operated. 

PVH says it plans to leverage PVH Asia to fuel the expansion of Tommy Hilfiger in China. 

"Today's announcement represents a significant development for our company as we continue to execute against our key strategic priorities and demonstrates our commitment to making strategic investments to support the long term growth of PVH and our Tommy Hilfiger business," said PVH chairman and CEO Emanuel Chirico.

"This transaction enables the Tommy Hilfiger business to directly operate its fastest growing market, while leveraging our well-established infrastructure in Asia, our regional leadership expertise and strong brand momentum across both our Tommy Hilfiger and Calvin Klein businesses in the region."

Tommy Hilfiger CEO Daniel Grieder added: "We are looking forward to executing a more fully integrated strategy for China that takes advantage of our current momentum in the region. This will allow us to further realise the growth opportunities that exist for the brand by offering consumers a greater breadth of Tommy Hilfiger product lines and a more elevated brand presentation."

Specifically, Tommy Hilfiger will invest in new store openings (both company-operated and franchised stores) and improved productivity in existing stores, while expanding its traditional and digital marketing initiatives to further reinforce the brand in China. 

The deal, which is subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals, is set to complete in the second quarter of 2016, and is expected to be slightly accretive to PVH's 2016 earnings on an adjusted basis.

The move was announced on the same day PVH lifted its full-year guidance to the higher end of its previous outlook thanks to the strength of its Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger brands. 

PVH lifts FY earnings outlook on designer brands boost