July 30, 2013, 9:11 AM

Underwear giant HanesBrands acquires bra maker Maidenform for $575 million

Hanes says Maidenform has room to grow online.

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HanesBrands Inc., the parent company of well-known underwear manufacturer Hanes, will purchase intimate apparel maker and e-retailer Maidenform Inc. for $575 million.

Hanes says Maidenform’s shapewear and bra business will complement its panty and full-figure intimate apparel product lines. Boards at both companies have approved the deal, which is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2013, Hanes says.

Maidenform, No. 704 in the Internet Retailer Second 500 Guide, brought in $9.0 million in online sales last year, up 34% from $6.7 million in 2011. When Maidenform reported 2012 sales in March, the merchant said the increase was due to heavy promotional activity online, which offset a decline in store sales.

Hanes says there is room to grow the Maidenform online channel. “They have a direct business just like we do,” Hanes CEO Richard A. Noll told analyst on a conference call last week. “It's in outlet stores, and they have a little bit online. Actually, I think they're fairly undeveloped online, and we've got a lot of great capabilities there.”

HanesBrands does not break out its e-commerce sales separately, but in its most recent quarterly report for the three months ended March 30, 2013, the retailer posted:

  • A 5.5% decrease in sales, from $84.7 million to $80.1 million, from the direct-to-consumer channel, which includes the merchant’s e-commerce site, outlet stores and print catalogs.
  • Net sales of $945.5 million, a 2.8% decline from $973.1 million in the first quarter of last year.
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