A landmark, family-owned Fort Worth business, Williamson-Dickie Mfg. Co., has been sold to North Carolina-based lifestyle apparel company VF Corporation for a reported $820 million.
VF Corp, who owns brands Wrangler, Lee and Timberland, and Williamson-Dickie, a work-wear company who has dressed the iconic Big Tex for decades, announced the merger Monday morning.
“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 work-wear marketplace,” said Philip Williamson, Chief Executive Officer of Williamson-Dickie, who will remain with the company after the merger. “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.”
The transaction is expected to be completed early in the fourth quarter of this year with VF paying Williamson-Dickie shareholders approximately $820 million in cash. Williamson-Dickie generated approximately $875 million of revenue in the last year.
Williamson-Dickie, originally known as the U.S. Overall Company before being bought by EE "Colonel" Dickie and Charles Williamson and rebranded in 1922, will remain headquartered in Fort Worth.
“This acquisition combines two great companies and a group of iconic brands to create a global leader in work-wear with approximately $1.7 billion in annual revenue,” said Steve Rendle, President and Chief Executive Officer of VF. “Williamson-Dickie has a proud history and heritage, and has served a loyal consumer base for nearly 100 years. VF is the ideal steward to honor that heritage while providing a platform for growth that ensures continued success for another century. We look forward to welcoming Williamson-Dickie and its 7,000 dedicated employees to the VF family.”
Dickies brands Dickies, Workrite, Kodiak, Terra and Walls will join VF’s current work-wear offerings including: Wrangler, RIGGS Workwear, Timberland PRO, Red Kap, Bulwark and Horace Small.
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The Fort Worth company in the past has sponsored NASCAR races at Texas Motor Speedway and recently acquired the naming rights to a $450 million arena being built in Fort Worth -- now known as Dickies Arena.
With the deal, VF revenue is expected to reach $11.85 billion in 2017, up 3.5 percent, and includes a $200 million contribution from Williamson-Dickie. In trading Monday, shares of VF Corp were up 2.14 percent ($1.32) to $62.90.