Vans & Timberland Parent to Buy Another Athletic Shoe Brand — Moving Deeper Into Outdoor & Performance

VF Corp. continues to flex its M&A muscle, announcing today its plans to acquire the Altra footwear brand from Icon Health & Fitness Inc.

The news follows two recent acquisitions by the Greensboro, N.C.-based owner of Timberland, Vans and The North Face, which announced plans to acquire Icebreaker and Williamson-Dickie Mfg. Co. in November and August 2017 respectively.

VF chairman, president and CEO Steve Rendle said the latest buy — expected to close in April 2018 — is another example of the firm’s latest efforts to “reshape and evolve” its portfolio, particularly as it seeks to move deeper into the active and outdoor segment.

“The active outdoor and performance sector is a large and attractive growth space,” Rendle said.”The addition of the Altra brand brings to VF a unique and differentiated technical footwear brand and a capability that when applied across VF’s outdoor footwear, direct-to-consumer and international platforms will serve as a catalyst for growth.”

Launched by Icon in 2011, Altra focuses on creating technology-driven road, trail and lifestyle shoes. The brand is sold in 55 countries and more than 1,600 specialty retail locations as well as its branded e-commerce website.

On a trailing 12-month basis, the Altra brand generated approximately $50 million in revenue. If the deal closes on its projected date of April 2018, the addition to VF’s portfolio is expected to be immediately accretive to earnings per share.

“The Altra brand’s truly innovative product and devoted brand loyalists will serve it well in its new home at VF,” said Icon chairman Scott Watterson.”The sale of Altra will accelerate the continuing growth of our NordicTrack and ProForm core brands, our Freemotion commercial business and iFit, our connected fitness subscription. The global health and wellness industry is exploding, and we’re doubling down on that growth.”

Before renewing its focus on acquisitions, VF in 2016 shed its Licensed Sports Group business, including the Majestic brand and also offloaded its Contemporary Brands businesses, which included the 7 for All Mankind, Splendid and Ella Moss brands. The firm also said last month that it plans to sell the Nautica brand.

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