VF Corporation nnounced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to sell the Reef brand to The Rockport Group (Rockport) of Newton, Massachusetts. A leading maker of casual and dress shoes, Rockport is a portfolio company of Charlesbank Capital Partners, LLC (Charlesbank), a middle-market private equity firm.
Commenting on the agreement, VF’s Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer Steve Rendle said, “Reshaping VF’s brand portfolio to deliver sustainable, long-term growth and superior returns to shareholders remains our top priority. Today’s announcement is another step toward delivering on the commitments outlined in our multi-year business strategy. We are pleased to have reached this agreement with Rockport. The Reef brand is an iconic, beach lifestyle brand, and Rockport is well-positioned to guide its next phase of growth.”
Charlesbank recently acquired Rockport, bringing in industry veteran Gregg Ribatt to head the established footwear company. Ribatt said, “Reef is a powerful brand with deep authenticity and an incredibly loyal customer base. We are excited to work with the strong leadership team that has been guiding Reef through its brand evolution and resurgence. We believe in the team’s growth plans across consumer, product and geographic expansion.”
Reef will operate as an independent global brand under The Rockport Group, and will maintain its Carlsbad, California, headquarters.
The transaction, which is expected to close in October 2018, is subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals for a closing to occur. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
PJ SOLOMON is serving as exclusive financial advisor to VF on the transaction. Davis Polk and Wardwell LLP is acting as legal advisor.