VF Corp. to buy Timberland

New York City -- Apparel giant VF Corp., whose brands include Wrangler, The North Face, and Nautica, said it has agreed to buy Timberland Co. for approximately $2 billion. The deal, expected to close in the third quarter, values Timberland at $43 a share, a 43% premium to Friday's closing price of $29.99 on the New York Stock Exchange.

“This will be a winning combination, leveraging VF’s international and direct-to-consumer platforms to drive growth in the Timberland and Smartwool brands globally,” Eric Wiseman, CEO, VF, said in a statement.

VF said it expected to boost Timberland sales by 10% annually, in part by growing the brand’s international business and helping it expand in Europe, Asia and Latin America.  VF also will Timberland grow its apparel and women’s businesses, and open more retail.

“Timberland is proud of its rich heritage, its track record of success and its reputation as a responsible and environmentally conscious global citizen, all of which will be preserved and enhanced by becoming part of the VF family of brands,” Jeffrey Swartz, CEO of Timberland, said in a statement. “VF is known for its ability to acquire and grow authentic outdoor brands, while protecting a brand’s unique culture and DNA.”

According to reports, VF will make Timberland part of its outdoor and actions sports business, and Timberland's headquarters will remain in Stratham, N.H.

VF plans to finance the deal through a combination of cash on hand, commercial paper and term debt.

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