Men’s apparel giant Phillips-Van Heusen Corporation has announced a definitive agreement to acquire Tommy Hilfiger B.V. in a deal worth €2.2 billion, or approximately $3.0 billion.

In May 2006, funds advised by Apax Partners acquired Tommy Hilfiger in a public-to-private transaction for €1.2 billion, or $1.6 billion. In partnership with Apax, Tommy Hilfiger’s new management team redefined its strategy to reflect the brand’s global presence and premium brand positioning. During the period of the Apax Funds’ investment, EBITDA increased to €256 million from €180 million. Additionally, the number of employees rose by more than 1,000, while its number of stores grew to 1,002 from 574. More than €400 million has since been invested in the growth of the business.

“We are very pleased to be joining forces with PVH, one of the premier apparel companies in the world. The scale of the combined company in the U.S. will deliver obvious benefits for both companies, while Tommy Hilfiger's significant international presence and infrastructure offers an opportunity for PVH to introduce a number of its brands into the international market," said Fred Gehring, Chief Executive Officer of Tommy Hilfiger.

John Megrue, CEO of Apax Partners US and co-head of the Apax Retail & Consumer team, said: “Reviving the Tommy Hilfiger brand and restoring the company to profitable growth in partnership with CEO Fred Gehring and his team has been hugely satisfying for the Apax team. We are pleased that the company and brand are poised for continued growth under the stewardship of Phillips-Van Heusen, a company we know well as both a partner and prior major shareholder when we assisted PVH to acquire the Calvin Klein business.”

Christian Stahl, partner, added: “Management was the key in bringing Tommy Hilfiger back to its old strengths. In 2006, the business was suffering in the US and had lost its clear positioning. We saw the strength of the international business and together with the management team developed a clear strategy for repositioning and restructuring the US business. We invested heavily for growth and were able to crystallize the inherent value in this iconic brand.”

Subsequently, Christian Stahl will join PVH’s Board of Directors, while Tommy Hilfiger, upon the close of the transaction, will remain in the role of principal designer and visionary. Fred Gehring will continue as CEO of Tommy Hilfiger but also assume the added role of CEO of PVH's international operations and join PVH’s Board of Directors.

Said Hilfiger: “This is the next phase in the global evolution and expansion of the Tommy Hilfiger brand. I am confident that the PVH organization will provide Tommy Hilfiger with the support and investment to allow my great partners in the Tommy Hilfiger organization to do what is necessary to take our brand to new heights.”

—Isabel Mühlbauer