VF/Eagle Creek a Done Deal

by MR Magazine Staff

NEW YORK – VF Corp. has added another trophy to its outdoor mantel.

The Greensboro, N.C.-based jeans and sportswear giant on Monday said it had completed its acquisition of adventure travel gear supplier Eagle Creek. Terms weren’t disclosed.

VF expects Eagle Creek to contribute about $30 million in revenue during 2007 and “to sustain high single-digit sales growth over the next several years.”

Steve Barker, founder of the firm, will continue as its president, reporting to Dave Gatto, president of VF’s outdoor group, which also includes The North Face, JanSport, Napapijri and Vans, among other brands. Ricky Schlesinger continues as executive vice president of the acquired firm, reporting to Barker.

Gatto said, “Our outdoor brands all share several key attributes: they are managed by experienced leaders supported by talented associates, they are authentic brands that have global appeal within their target markets, and they are growing both domestically and internationally.”

Eagle Creek will remain based in Vista, Calif.

The company, founded by Steve and Nona Barker in 1975, is generally credited with inventing the adventure travel gear category and introducing such product innovations as the first convertible backpack on wheels.

VF first reported that it was negotiating to buy Eagle Creek on Dec. 22. Last week, it sold its intimate apparel division to Fruit of the Loom for $350 million.