VF Corp. is in talks to potentially sell its JanSport brand, Bloomberg reported on Friday.
The report cited people close to the talks who said a deal could value the backpack and apparel brand at close to $500 million. The report added that a deal has not yet been inked and VF Corp. could still decide not to sell.
VF Corp. declined to comment.
According to a note from Wedbush analyst Tom Nikic, the sale represents the retail company’s decision to shed a “non-core” asset to better focus on its main brands like Vans, The North Face, Timberland and Supreme.
“The last time management discussed the performance of JanSport on an [earnings] call was more than seven years ago, so it would seem the brand isn’t core to the strategy,” Nikic wrote, adding that he is “skeptical” that VF could manage to raise $500 million for the brand.
VF has a history of reshaping its brand portfolio to focus on the core players. In 2018, it separated its more profitable active and outdoor brands from its denim business, creating Kontoor Brands Inc., which houses the Wrangler and Lee brands, as well as VF’s outlet operations. (Kontoor is now an independent, publicly traded company under the stock ticker “KTB.”)
By brand, Vans revenue declined by 13% to $1 billion in Q2 and The North Face revenues were $1 billion, up 8% (or 14% in constant dollars). This marked the outdoor brand’s second largest quarter in history. In Q3 of last year, The North Face surpassed $1 billion in sales for the first time.
Earlier this month, VF announced that CEO Steve Rendle would leave his position as chairman, president and CEO, becoming the latest chief in the athletic and outdoor sector to leave the top role in recent months. Benno Dorer, lead independent director of the VF board of directors, has been named interim president and CEO, effective immediately, as the company undergoes a search for a successor.