Private equity firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co (KKR), is in talks to acquire Australian apparel maker Pacific Brands Ltd, which has a market capitalisation of A$584 million ($602 million).
"The board of Pacific Brands, together with its advisers Flagstaff Partners and Minter Ellison, is considering the approach and preliminary discussions are being held with KKR," Pacific Brands said in a statement to the Australian Securities Exchange
''There is no certainty that these discussions will lead to any agreement being reached between the parties,'' the company said.
If the talks are successful, Pacific Brands would return to private ownership after being acquired in 2000 by a consortium of venture capitalists, including Catalyst Investment Managers and CVC Asia Pacific for $730 million from its parent Pacific Dunlop, and floated in 2004 for $2.50 a share, valuing it at $1.3 billion.
Melbourne- based Pacific Brands has come a long way from manufacturing Dunlop bicycle tyres in 1893.
Today, Pacific Brands markets Berlei, Bonds, Clarks, Dunlop, Everlast, Grosby, Hard Yakka, Holeproof, Hush Puppies, King Gee, Mooks, Mossimo, Razzamatazz, Sheridan, Slazenger, Tontine, and Volley.