Helly Hansen fetching buyout bids

Private equity firm Altor is weighing five buyout bids for its controlling stake in Nordic outdoor apparel brand Helly Hansen, sources close to the situation have told SNEWS.
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Private equity firm Altor is weighing five buyout bids for its controlling stake in Nordic outdoor apparel brand Helly Hansen, sources close to the situation have told SNEWS.

The Sunday Times of London reported Jan. 22 that the bidding companies include VF Corp. and Puma. Earlier in December, the Sunday Times named private equity firms Blackstone and the Carlyle Group as other parties interested in purchasing the brand. The paper said Helly Hansen could fetch more than 2 billion Norwegians crowns (about $340 million).

Officials with Altor did not return a request for comment as of Jan. 26.

Officials with VF Corp. (owner of the The North Face, Timberland and Vans) declined specific comment on the company’s reported involvement, but left the door open for upcoming acquisitions.

“Unfortunately, we cannot comment on rumors regarding specific acquisition candidates, such as Helly Hansen,” VF’s corporate communications team said in a statement to SNEWS. “Currently, we are most focused on integrating our largest acquisition to date, Timberland. Over time, we'll continue to explore opportunities to add other brands to our portfolio, particularly those in the outdoor and action sports industry.”

VF announced its acquistion of Timberland in June 2011, completing the deal in October of that year.

Helly Hansen reported revenue of 170 million euros (about $220 million) in 2010.

Altor acquired its investment stake in Helly Hansen in 2006. In February 2011, it the group sold off Helly Hansen Pro, a subsidiary focusing on survival suits, to Montagu Private Equity.

--David Clucas

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