Icebreaker Cuts Deal with VF Corporation

Merino wool clothing retailer Icebreaker, founded by New Zealander Jeremy Moon 22 years ago, has been sold to US-based VF Corporation, which owns The North Face, Timberland and Vans.

Moon, who did not reveal how much the company sold for, said the acquisition was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

“Our partnership with VF provides us with the largest platform in the world to tell our story, access new markets and reach new consumers at an accelerated pace,” Moon said.

“This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for our global Icebreaker team and for our New Zealand wool suppliers to introduce a whole new universe of consumers to the benefits of sustainably farmed, ethically sourced, New Zealand merino wool.”

VF Corporation needs Overseas Investment Office approval to buy Icebreaker, meaning the deal is worth at least $100 million.

Chairman Rob Fyfe said Icebreaker was a “very small brand” in the global outdoor clothing industry.

“The opportunity to join VF’s stable of globally recognised brands and to be able to benefit from their expertise, consumer insights, distribution and operating scale presented Jeremy and Icebreaker’s board with the best opportunity to realise our ambition to become a $1 billion brand,” Fyfe said.

Moon, who owned more than 33 per cent of shares in the company, and Fyfe will stay on with Icebreaker.

Icebreaker apparel is sold in 47 countries worldwide and this year made more than $220 million in global sales. The company buys 25 per cent of the merino wool New Zealand grows and produces more than four million garments a year.

Original article by Aimee Shaw, New Zealand Herald, November 3, 2017.

Photo by Greg Bowker.

Tags: Icebreaker  Jeremy Moon  New Zealand Herald  Rob Fyfe  VF Corporation  

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