Bear Stearns Merchant Banking Accounces Agreement to Sell Seven For All Mankind
July 26, 2007
Bear Stearns Merchant Banking (“BSMB”), a leading private equity firm focused on middle-market investments, together with founder Peter Koral and company management, has reached an agreement to sell Seven For All Mankind, LLC (“Seven For All Mankind”) to VF Corporation (NYSE: VFC) for $775 million in cash at closing. Seven For All Mankind is a leading premium denim-lifestyle brand. VF Corporation is a leader in branded lifestyle apparel including jeanswear, outdoor products, image apparel and sportswear.
BSMB has an outstanding track record of investing in leading apparel and retail brands as well as unique expertise in partnering with entrepreneurs, enabling them to build and redefine their businesses. BSMB has worked closely with Seven For All Mankind on numerous strategic initiatives including building the Company’s executive management team, developing its product extension strategy, expanding its international business and working on its upcoming entry into retail.
“The success of Seven For All Mankind demonstrates how we use our operating and sector expertise to unlock value in our investments,” said John D. Howard, Chief Executive Officer of BSMB. “We continually look to invest in strong brands, and in this instance, we identified a very successful entrepreneur whose business could flourish with the resources and expertise we could bring to the table. VF Corporation is an excellent strategic partner for Seven to continue its growth and capitalize on its extraordinary brand.”
“Our strategic partnership with BSMB has given us the opportunity to strengthen our company and expand product lines while improving operations,” said Michael Egeck, Chief Executive Officer of Seven For All Mankind. “We very much value the time spent working with BSMB. As a result of their apparel and retail expertise and track record of supporting growth initiatives, we are well-positioned for our future with VF Corporation.”
Other BSMB investments in the apparel and retail sector have included Aéropostale, New York & Company, Balducci’s, Stuart Weitzman, Transamerican Auto Parts, Vitamin Shoppe, Everything but Water and Harlem Furniture.
Lehman Brothers and Bear, Stearns & Co. Inc. acted as financial advisors to Seven For All Mankind in the transaction, and Kirkland & Ellis LLP served as legal counsel.