Wrangler jeans brand owner VF Corp to acquire Timberland for about $2 billion

US clothing giant VF Corporation, owner of Wrangler jeans and Lee brands among others, has agreed to buy footwear and apparel firm Timberland Company for about $2 billion in cash.

Stratham, New Hampshire-based Timberland, which expects 2011 revenues of $1.6 billion, over half of which are generated internationally, designs, engineers and markets premium-quality footwear, apparel and accessories. The company was founded in 1978 by the Nathan Swartz family.

Timberland markets products under the Timberland, Timberland PRO, Mountain Athletics, SmartWool, Timberland Boot Company and howies brands, all of which are sold in leading department and specialty stores as well as its own retail stores throughout North America, Europe, Asia, Latin America, South Africa and the Middle East.

"The Timberland brand is synonymous with high quality outdoor footwear and apparel," said Eric Wiseman, chairman and CEO of VF Corporation.

This acquisition will continue the transformation of VF's portfolio, propelling VF's Outdoor & Action Sports businesses to 50 per cent of VF's total revenues. VF will benefit from Timberland's rugged outdoor footwear expertise, international penetration in markets such as Japan, Wiseman added.

VF said that it is targeting 10 per cent annual revenue growth for Timberland through leveraging VF's established international platforms in Europe, Asia and Latin America as well as through its retail stores and rapidly growing e-commerce business.
Under the deal, approved unanimously by the boards of directors of both companies, VF will pay Timberland $43 per share, a premium of 43 per cent over Timberland's closing share price of $29.99 on 10 June.