VF sells majority stake of Varvatos company
The companies didn't say how much Lion Capital, which has also invested in high-end shoe maker Jimmy Choo and edgy clothing seller American Apparel, was paying for John Varvatos Enterprises Inc.
Varvatos will keep an ownership position in the company and remain its chairman and chief creative officer. The company, which sells expensive men's clothing and accessories and Converse shoes, will remain headquartered in New York.
VF, whose brands include North Face jackets, 7 For All Mankind jeans and Wrangler, picked up Varvatos with its 2003 acquisition of Nautica.
"With Lion Capital we will be aggressively growing our company-owned retail stores, both domestically and on a global basis. They understand the brand and are deeply committed to expand the menswear platform that we have created into additional product categories," Varvatos said in a statement.
There are 10 John Varvatos stores in the U.S. The brand's products are also sold at boutiques and department stores included Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom Inc. and Bloomingdale's Inc.
The deal is expected to close in the second quarter.
Shares of VF, based in Greensboro, N.C., added $1.27 to $146.25 in morning trading on Thursday. Last month the company reported that its net income more than quadrupled in the fourth quarter due to the recent acquisition of footwear and clothing company Timberland.