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V.F. Corp. to sell Reef brand to The Rockport Group

Apparel and footwear company V.F. Corp. said Oct. 4 that it entered into a definitive agreement to sell its Reef brand to Charlesbank Capital Partners LLC's recently acquired portfolio company The Rockport Group of Newton.

Footwear label Reef will operate as an independent brand of casual and dress shoe group Rockport after the acquisition and maintain its headquarters in Carlsbad, Calif.

V.F. has been an active deal-maker since unveiling in March 2017 a five-year strategy to accelerate growth that includes shaking up its portfolio, transforming to a more consumer- and retail-centric model and elevating its direct-to-consumer business while prioritizing digital.

In August the company announced it would spin off its denim brands, which include Lee and Wrangler, and pursue mergers and acquisitions across its portfolio. Over the past year it has bought footwear brand Altra and wool sportswear-maker Icebreaker, and sold clothing brand Nautica to Authentic Brands Group.

"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," V.F. Chairman, President and CEO Steve Rendle said in a press release.

The transaction, which is expected to complete in October, is subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals.

Davis Polk and Wardwell LLP is acting as legal adviser to VF on the transaction. PJ Solomon is serving as exclusive financial adviser.