Williamson-Dickie Mfg. Co., a 95-year-old Fort Worth-based, family-owned company that designs, manufactures and delivers workwear and apparel, announced today it will be acquired by VF Corp. for $820 million. VF Corp. announced the definitaive merger agreement Monday morning, Aug. 13.
Barclays is acting as financial advisor to VF, with Davis Polk and Wardwell LLP acting as legal advisor.
Williamson-Dickie sells its products in over 100 countries across six continents, employs more than 7,000 and operates a network of stores under various brands including Dickies, Workrite, Kodiak, Terra, Walls, Big Smith, Liberty and Duxbak. According to the news release, on a trailing 12-month basis, Williamson-Dickie generated approximately $875 million of revenue.
Once the merger is complete, Williamson-Dickie will be part of the Imagewear coalition under VF.
VF Corporation, considered a global leader in branded lifestyle apparel, was founded in 1999 and is one of the world’s largest accessories, apparel and footwear companies, operating various brands including Vans, The North Face, Timberland, Wrangler and Lee.
“For nearly a century we’ve worked hard to judiciously grow our company and portfolio of strong brands to maintain our leadership in the global workwear marketplace,” said Philip Williamson, Williamson-Dickie CEO, in a news release. “Today’s announcement is an authentic and natural next step as we look to combine the strengths of our two companies to create significant opportunities for our employees, vendors, retail partners and ultimately our customers. We expect that under VF’s leadership, we’ll be able to experience the next wave of growth and better meet the needs of workers everywhere.”
Following the announcement of the merger, the expected 2017 outlook for VF Corp. has been raised and the 2021 financial targets have increased. VF Corp. trades over the NYSE under the VFC symbol.
The 2017 outlook has been revised as follows. Revenue is expected to reach $11.85 billion, including an about $200 million contribution from Williamson-Dickie. Gross Margin is expected to reach 49.5 percent – .3 percent down – with the operating margin to reach 13.7 percent – .3 percent down. Additionally, earnings per share is expected to go up by $.02 to reach $2.96. Finally, transaction-related expenses are estimated to be $.04 per share.
The 2021 financial targets have been raised to have revenue through 2021 estimated at more than $15 billion – with Williamson-Dickie contributing more than $1 billion – and earnings per share to grow to more than $5 – with Williamson Dickie contributing more than $.25.
“When we introduced our 2021 global business strategy earlier this year, reshaping our portfolio to accelerate growth was our highest priority,” said Steve Rendle, VF president and CEO, in the release. “The acquisition of Williamson-Dickie is another meaningful step that delivers on that commitment and further demonstrates our focus on being an active portfolio manager to drive transformative growth for VF and value creation for our shareholders.”