VF Corporation, the world’s biggest manufacturer of apparel, announced today that it has agreed to acquire sportswear giant Nautica Enterprises Inc. in a deal valued at $585.6 million. The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2003. Once finalized, the deal will make VF a more fashion-forward company. Its already large stable of basic brands includes Lee and Wrangler jeans. In addition to its eponymous 20-year-old men’s sportswear brand, Nautica, which is still led by founder David Chu, owns the labels Earl Jean and John Varvatos. The US stock market reacted favorably to the announcement. Nautica’s share price rose 27% to a two-year high of $16.78 and VF’s stock price climbed to $35.59 a share, an increase of 5%.
(From Business Wire and SmartMoney.com)