Timberland parent company makes $2.1 billion acquisition

Marianne Wilson
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VF Corp. is adding a hot streetwear brand with 12 stores and a cult following to its portfolio. 

The parent company of Timberland, The North Face, Vans and Dickies will acquire Supreme for $2.1 billion. In a release, VF said that current investors Carlyle Group and New York-based private equity firm Goode Partners are selling their stakes in the brand.

Supreme was founded in 1994 as a skatewear brand with a store in downtown Manhattan, and has since evolved into a global business that sells apparel, accessories and footwear under its namesake brand through direct-to-consumer channels, primarily digital. Customers are known to line up outside its 12 stores for hours to buy its newest releases. Supreme also has entered into collaborations with such luxury brands as Louis Vuitton.

Supreme’s founder, James Jebbia, and the senior leadership team will remain with the company, headquartered in New York City.  In a statement, Jebbia stressed that Supreme will maintain its independence. 

“This partnership will maintain our unique culture and independence, while allowing us to grow on the same path we’ve been on since 1994,” he said.

The deal is expected to be completed late in 2020, subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approval.  VF said Supreme, which is thought to be very profitable, will be “accretive” to its adjusted earnings per share in the fiscal year that ends in April. But it is expected to contribute at least $500 million of revenue and $0.20 of adjusted earnings per share in VF’s fiscal year 2022.

“The acquisition of the Supreme brand is further validation of our vision and strategy to further evolve our portfolio of brands to align with the total addressable market opportunities we see driving the apparel and footwear sector,” said Steve Rendle, VF’s chairman, president, and CEO. The Supreme brand will further accelerate VF’s hyper-digital business model transformation and will be a meaningful driver of VF’s commitment to top quartile total shareholder return and long-term value creation.”