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.
Williams-Sonoma launches international shipping
San Francisco — Williams-Sonoma said Monday that it will offer international shipping across its brands. The chain is partnering with FiftyOne Global Ecommerce, a leading provider of international e-commerce services and infrastructure to U.S. retailers.
Customers in more than 75 countries are now able to shop online for Pottery Barn and Pottery Barn Kids products, the company said. The same service for West Elm and Williams-Sonoma should launch by the end of the month.
Wal-Mart makes big donation to New York City summer jobs program
New York City — Wal-Mart Stores will donate as much as $5 million to New York City’s cash-strapped Summer Youth Employment Program, Crain’s New York Business reported. The donation will reportedly save 3,400 jobs.
“We’ve talked a lot about creating jobs here and given our track record of local giving in the city thought this was timely opportunity to help move the needle on a program that’s critical to kids and families across the five boroughs,” said a Walmart spokesman, according to the report. He would not confirm the exact amount of the donation.
According to Crain’s, the Wal-Mart donation far exceeds initial private donations received by a fundraising drive for the program launched last month by Mayor Michael Bloomberg to help contend with cuts in federal and state funding.