Cutter & Buck Acquisition OK’d

by MR Magazine Staff

NEW YORK – Cutter & Buck was sold to Sweden’s New Wave Group AB Friday after its shareholders cleared the final hurdle to the purchase when they approved the purchase of the company for $14.38 a share in cash.

The deal, announced in April, valued the company at $156.5 million.

Cutter & Buck said that more than 99% of the ballots cast either in person or by proxy at a special meeting Friday voted in favor of the takeover, representing more than 77% of the outstanding shares of the Seattle-based company’s stock

“We are pleased that our shareholders viewed the transaction with New Wave to be the right move for our company,” said Ernest Johnson, Cutter & Buck’s chief executive officer. “By completing the merger, we have put Cutter & Buck into position to move forward with a strong partner and the potential for a substantial market presence in Europe.”

Following shareholder approval, Newport Acquisition Corp., a wholly owned subsidiary of New Wave, was merged with and into Cutter & Buck, with C&B becoming a wholly owned subsidiary of New Wave.

C&B designs and markets men’s and women’s sportswear, golfwear and career apparel under the Cutter & Buck, Annika and CBUK, both through wholesale operations and a direct marketing subsidiary.

When the acquisition agreement was announced April 12, Goran Harstedt, chief executive officer of New Wave, commented, “The two companies’ brands are very complementary, allowing us to expand the distribution of Cutter & Buck’s brands in Europe and the New Wave Group’s brands in the United States. We identified Cutter & Buck as the company to carry some of our brands, especially New Wave and Clique, in the United States on the corporate promotional market because, like New Wave Group AB, they are founded on great customer service and operational excellence. In addition, they truly understand the markets we operate in. Moreoever, we expected to reach substantial synergies within buying, products and distribution.”

New Wave’s brands, which also include Orrefors and Kosta Boda, are primarily sold through about 10,000 independent distributors in Europe and China.

New Wave’s 2006 sales totaled about $512 million while Cutter & Buck’s were about $131 million.

Cutter & Buck is expected to maintain its operations in Seattle.