Champion Sale Process Enters Final Phase: Source

The Champion sale process is pushing toward the finish line.

HanesBrands fired the starting gun in September when it said it had hired Goldman Sachs & Co. and Evercore to explore “strategic options” for active brand — essentially putting the brand up for sale.

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Since then, would-be buyers — including licensing specialists Authentic Brands Group, Marquee Brands and WHP Global and fashion producer G-III Apparel Group — have all been said to be showing interest in buying the business.

Now, it’s time to show just how interested they are.

WWD has learned that the deadline for bids has been set for Feb. 21.

HanesBrands declined to comment and the banks did not immediately reply to WWD queries regarding the timing of the auction.

Even though high-interest rates have put the breaks on some kinds of dealmaking — higher rates make it more expensive to borrow money for a big buy — the changes in the industry have been forcing through some dealmaking.

HanesBrands, for one, was taking flack from activist investor Barington Capital Group last summer while also working to turnaround Champion when it decided to explore its options.

Champion’s top line sank by 19 percent in the quarter ended Sept. 30, which included a 16 percent drop in the U.S. International sales fell by 22 percent.

The buyers, and particularly the intellectual property firms that would look to set up a series of licensing deals to build the business, are no doubt more interested in the brands roots and its resonance with the consumer than the current state of sales.

Elsewhere, dealmakers are starting to make their move on direct-to-consumer players that have built brand recognition and a customer base, but need help moving their businesses forward.

Among them is BC Brands, a new company that brings together luxury activewear names Bandier and Carbon38 and is keeping an eye open for other acquisitions.

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