Tarrant Apparel Group is to expand its joint venture with manufacturer Azteca Production International LLC to include the Express division of Limited Brands Inc - one of Tarrant's largest customers.

The joint venture, named United Apparel Venture LLC (UAV), was established in July 2001 to enable Tarrant and Azteca to combine resources and share profits when selling men's and women's sportswear, jeans wear and children's wear to their mutual customer, Tommy Hilfiger Corporation.

UAV is owned 50.1 per cent by Tag Mex Inc, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Tarrant Apparel, and 49.9 per cent by Azteca.

Eddy Yuen, chief executive officer of Tarrant Apparel Group, commented: "We are pleased to be expanding this mutually beneficial joint venture with our partner, Azteca Production International. Because we both do business with Express, we feel that the opportunity exists to improve our efficiency, add more value for the customer, and subsequently increase our business. The UAV joint venture represents a win for all parties, and ultimately passes increased value to our shareholders."