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HanesBrands, a Winston Salem, N.C.-based apparel maker, announced Wednesday that it would leave the private label world, divesting its Outer Banks house brand and working with U.S. wholesale screen-print customers on transition plans.
The announcement came as Hanes said it wanted to move in a new strategic direction that focused on its branded apparel.
“We are a branded company. That includes being committed to branded printwear in the United States, where we can partner with our wholesale customers to take advantage of our strong consumer brands and product differentiation,” Hanes CEO Richard A. Noll said in a news release announcing the move.
Hanes has agreed to sell its European division of Imagewear to an affiliate of Smartwares B.V. for about $20 million, with the deal expected to close this week.
Imagewear’s U.S. and European revenue accounted for 8 percent of the company’s sales before the move. It sells basic apparel to wholesalers in the screen-print market.
The sale will eliminate Hanes’ exposure to European business.
“With our exit from Europe, we can devote all of our energies to growing our branded portfolio in core geographies in the Americas and Asia,” Noll said.
Imagewear’s U.S. division will be re-named Printwear and will focus on the company’s Hanes and Champion brands, with “improved operating margins” and expected annual sales of $150 million in 2013.