Vans, Timberland Parent Offloads Nautica Just Weeks After Announcing Plans to Sell

VF Corp. is on a roll.

Just weeks after announcing its plans to seek a buyer for the Nautica brand, the Greensboro, N.C.-based firm said today that it has entered into a definitive agreement to sell the label to Authentic Brands Group LLC.

“As part of VF’s global business strategy, we’ve stated that our highest priority is to actively manage our brand portfolio to ensure that its composition positions us to accelerate growth,” VF chairman, president and CEO Steve Rendle said of the deal, which follows news last week that the company will snap up performance athletic shoe brand Altra. “This announcement marks yet another example of how we’re delivering on our commitment.”

Nautica — which has been in the VF stable since 2003 — will land in the hands of ABG, owner and licensor for a range of lifestyle, celebrity and entertainment brands including Frye, Juicy Couture, Elvis Presley and Marilyn Monroe.

“We are thrilled to welcome Nautica to the ABG portfolio and are ready to take the helm of this classic American brand,” said ABG chairman and CEO Jamie Salter.

The transaction, which is expected to close in the first half of 2018, is subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals for a closing to occur. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

When VF reported earnings on Feb. 16 — the same day it announced its plans to divest Nautica — the company posted Q4 revenues of $3.6 billion, including a $247 million contribution from the Williamson-Dickie acquisition in October 2017. While it was a 20 percent gain over the comparable period, VF’s revenues missed forecasts calling for sales of $3.7 billion.

The firm saw a loss from continuing operations of $73 million, or 18 cents per share, during the fourth quarter. On an adjusted basis, net income increased 13 percent year over year to $1.01 per diluted share but was just below Wall Street’s bet of $1.02.

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