VF’s acquisition of Icebreaker shows confidence in Merino wool market

Merino wool specialist is latest company to be scooped up by VF.

VF Corp will acquire Auckland, New Zealand, based company Icebreaker for an undisclosed amount.

A post shared by Icebreaker (@icebreakernz) on

Icebreaker, a merino wool-focused base layer brand, generated $150 million in revenue in the past 12 months. Founded in 1995 by Jermey Moon, Icebreaker is the only brand in seven years that VF has brought under its adventure and outdoor umbrella, since the acquisition of Timberland in 2011. VF also owns SmartWool, a Colorado-based company that makes merino socks and apparel.

“Together, the SmartWool and Icebreaker brands create an advantaged position for VF as a leader in the growing and underpenetrated natural fiber category,” VF Corp Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer Steve Rendle said. “We will have unmatched capabilities that will strengthen our ability to create innovative and sustainable natural fiber products across our brand portfolio, especially in VF's Outdoor and Workwear brands."

vf corp acquires icebreaker

Icebreaker prides itself on innovative products and sustainable sourcing.

The deal with Icebreaker is expected to close in 2018. The company also recently acquired workwear brand Dickies and is expected to close that deal in Q4 this year.

"I founded Icebreaker to offer a natural choice to adventurers, and to build a global brand from New Zealand," said Moon, who went to say he was eager to tell that brand story on a much broader platform with help from VF Corp.

Icebreaker currently has 340 employees in sold in 47 countries. Its entire product assortment is based on Merino wool, plant-based fibers and recycled fibers, with a "farm to garment" approach that sources from the most sustainable and ethical Merino farms in New Zealand.

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