VF Corp.'s CEO Eric Wiseman told Bloomberg this week that they are in active discussion with potential acquisition targets amongst the Outdoor and Active Lifestyle brands. VF's existing Outdoor and Sportswear brands such as North Face, Nautica, Jansport, Napapijri, Vans and Reef made up the most profitable segment seeing revenue growth while other segments such as Jeanswear declined. 

With almost $300M in cash to spend, it will be interesting to see who VF goes after. VF likes to group their brands into similar consumer behavior patterns and also condones strong individual brand recognition. Expect to see a few acquisitions of already respected brand names in the coming year-another outdoor footwear line perhaps?

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  1. I’ve been working M&A in the outdoor industry for some time now through my practice, CFO Services http://www.cfoservicesnow.com. My best advice is to know all of your options for building value before making a big sale in a year like this year. The average age of sports business owner I deal with is about 38 and they aren’t ready to retire yet. They just don’t know what else to do and might be tired. I am happily representing folks to achieve joint ventures, creative structures, and the best long-term value for their hard work.

  2. Hi Kira. Totally agree that any company should weigh all their options (it is their obligation to shareholders afterall) and valuations right now are not what they were a year or two ago. However, with numerous “big” companies looking to make acquisitions and having the cash to do so, it might be a good time to get an auction going and get real cash (instead of stock) for any sale. Any founder, instead of retiring, can then have the financial freedom to start a new company (most likely after the employment lock-in). This creates an ideal scenario for future investment and growth in the sports industry.

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