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goldtoeMontreal - Gildan Activewear is to buy US-based sock manufacturer Gold Toe Moretz Holdings in a deal that is expected to double the Canadian firm?s revenue from sock sales and diversify its US customer base.

As part of the $350 million deal, Gildan will acquire 100% of the common shares of GoldToeMoretz Holdings Corp but will not assume any of GoldToe?s outstanding indebtedness.

Gold Toe Moretz is one of the largest sock companies in the world, supplying a number of brands and private label capabilities. Market insiders, however, suggest that the company?s operations have been severely impacted in recent months by rising raw material costs and that the business is an ideal fit for a company such as Gildan (whose share price hit a 52-week high last week), which has been looking for both organic expansion and growth through acquisition in the US market.

For Gildan, the deal will give it access to Gold Toe Moretz?s diversified portfolio of premium brands, which is targeted across the price spectrum and includes a broad customer base. Owned brands include Gold Toe Underwear, Gold Toe, Auro, All Pro, SilverToe, GoldToeGear and PowerSox. Licensed brands include Under Armour and New Balance.

Many of the US?s largest retailers, including Wal-Mart and Target, choose GoldToeMoretz for their private label programs. In addition, Gold Toe Stores Inc. operates 29 Gold Toe retail stores strategically located in outlet malls nationwide.

The PowerSox brand, which is aimed at the sportswear market offers a range of different, high quality knitting techniques. The Pro-Thicks brand is knit on 84 needle, 5 ins machines to create a plush, cushioned sock that protects the foot from impact while the new Sport-Casual socks are knit using a finer gauge 144 needle machine that creates a versatile sock that has great stretch and recovery along with optimal fit.

These socks hug to your feet while providing enough cushion to protect joints and allow space compensation inside the shoe.

The CoolMax brand socks are knit using 132 needle machinery which is the best of both worlds. This machinery creates socks that have ample cushioning in all the right places while also the company to knit in mesh ventilation panels so that heat can escape, aiding in the moisture wicking abilities of the sock


Gildan said it expects to achieve between US$10 million and US$15 million of annualized cost savings over the next two years. Revenues reported by Gold Toe Moretz for the year ended December 31, 2010 were US$280 million, with adjusted EBITDA of US$48.6 million.

?The acquisition of Gold Toe Moretz represents an important and exciting step in Gildan's ongoing strategic development,? said Glenn J. Chamandy, President and Chief Executive Officer of Gildan Activewear. ?In addition to the introduction of leading consumer brands, the acquisition provides Gildan with enhanced brand management experience and expertise, best-in-class merchandising and strong technical innovation and design capabilities to complement Gildan's existing competitive strengths for retail. These capabilities can also be utilized to further the development of our own Gildan brand.?

Gold Toe Moretz's senior management team, including John Moretz, Chairman and Chief Innovation Officer, and Steve Lineberger, President and CEO, have committed to continue their careers with Gildan.

 

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