Milliken & Company, a global diversified manufacturer with more than a century and a half of textile expertise, announces that it signed a definitive agreement to acquire Polartec, LLC, a strong global brand known for its innovative performance textiles for outdoor and military apparel, from Versa Capital Management, LLC. The acquisition is expected to close in June. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Headquartered in Andover, Massachusetts, the Polartec brand carries a respected portfolio of fabric technologies for outdoor apparel, from performance-driven and consumer-focused textiles, to flame-resistant, workwear and military-grade fabrics. The addition of the Polartec brand—particularly its outdoor and fleece textiles—rounds out Milliken’s comprehensive portfolio, allowing the company to deliver unprecedented access to a range of performance textiles for consumers, industrial workers and military personnel around the world.
“Polartec brings a wealth of new and respected outdoor textile expertise to complement Milliken’s strengths,” says Halsey Cook, president and CEO of Milliken & Company. “The strategic acquisition broadens our textile capabilities with a product offering to now include fleece and soft-shell outerwear, among others, allowing us to grow in new and exciting spaces.”
“With more than 150 years of textile innovation, Milliken is the best possible ‘natural owner’ of a brand with Polartec's pedigree. I look forward to supporting the integration,” says Polartec CEO Gary Smith. "I’m grateful to Versa Capital Management for their support in realizing Polartec’s full potential, and I'm extremely proud of the global Polartec team for their dedication and hard work that put the company in the position it is in today.”
“We look forward to growing Polartec’s strong brand at Milliken,” says Jeff Price, president of Milliken’s Performance and Protective Textiles Division. “Polartec expands our regional manufacturing reach and grows our technological expertise, enabling us to further deliver innovative performance textiles to the global market.”
“Milliken provides the perfect platform to ensure the continuation and acceleration of the success of the Polartec brand after years of complex and transformative business repositioning by Gary Smith and his team,” says Greg Segall, CEO of Versa and chairman of Polartec. “It has been a great collaboration with Gary and all of Polartec’s valued employees, and we are proud of all that has been accomplished during Versa’s ownership—notably the feat of reviving an American textile icon and powerful global brand into an enterprise equipped to succeed in today’s highly competitive markets. Milliken is the ideal long-term owner for Polartec, and we look forward to seeing the two companies achieve big things together.”
Versa acquired the assets of the former Malden Mills in 2007 through the then 101-year-old textile manufacturer’s third reorganization. Working with management, the business was transformed, renaming the company Polartec, reorienting it toward a technology- and innovation-led growth strategy, and revamping the company’s leadership, operations, manufacturing footprint and customer relationships.
The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions.
Versa and Polartec were advised by Lazard Middle Market and Sullivan & Cromwell LLP. Milliken & Company was represented by Jones Day.