Arvind Brands replaces Murjanis in Calvin Klein’s India business

Arvind Brands and Retail Ltd, a subsidiary of public listed textile and apparel retail firm Arvind Ltd, has acquired 49 per cent stake in Premium Garments Wholesale Trading Private Ltd, an Indian licensee for fashion label Calvin Klein, from Murjanis for an undisclosed amount, according to a BSE disclosure.

Lalbhai family controlled Arvind has entered into an agreement with American clothing giant Phillip Van-Heusen Corp (PVH), the parent company of Calvin Klein, to distribute its jeans, apparel and accessories, including innerwear, in India.

Although the deal value stands undisclosed, few media reports pegged it at around Rs 90-100 crore.

"Calvin Klein is one of the strongest fashion brands in the world and we are delighted to be JV partners with PVH for Calvin Klein in India. This relationship also strengthens our 20-years’ association with PVH, which started with the Arrow licence and since has been extended to our joint venture with PVH for the Tommy Hilfiger business and the licence for IZOD," Sanjay Lalbhai, chairman and managing director of Arvind Ltd, said.

"Calvin Klein substantially strengthens our rich portfolio of brands, said J Suresh, managing director and CEO of Arvind Lifestyle Brands Ltd.

Murjanis-controlled firm Brand Marketing India Pvt ltd, a firm backed by Matrix Partners, was the previous licensee of Calvin Klein brand in India. In 2011, Murjanis had struck a new agreement with apparel firm Warnaco, which owned the rights for Calvin Klein jeans and underwear globally. Under the agreement, Brand Marketing formed a new JV under Premium Garments Wholesale Trading. At that time, Matrix Partners had exited Brand Marketing by selling its stake to Murjanis.

Last year, PVH brought the entire Calvin Klein business under its fold by striking a deal to buy Warnaco for $2.9 billion. Previously PVH held control over the design and product development for the Calvin Klein brands. This global deal made PVH the foreign partner of Murjanis in Premium Garments Wholesale Trading.

PVH and Arvind are also partners in a separate joint venture, which is the licensee of Tommy Hilfiger brand in India. In this deal, struck in late 2011, Murjanis sold their stake in their 50:50 JV with Arvind to PVH, paving the way for direct presence of the Tommy Hilfiger Group in India, a strategy it has been following in other international markets for consolidating brand management.

The Murjanis, led by the group chairman Mohan Murjani, partnered with Tommy Hilfiger to launch the brand and the company in the US way back in 1985. Around a decade ago, the Murjanis launched the brand in India. Through the arrangement, apparel, handbags and footwear were sublicensed to AMB and other products to separate partners.

Arvind Group has a successful track record of running branded apparel business of its own, besides some licensed brands and joint ventures for names such as Lee and Wrangler.

PVH Corp (formerly Phillips Van Heusen Corp), which traces its history to 1876, owns brands such as Calvin Klein, Arrow, Tommy Hilfiger, IZOD, Bass and Van Heusen. It is the world’s-largest shirts and neckwear company, and also holds the licence for global brands such as Timberland, DKNY and Nautica, among others.

PVH acquired Tommy Hilfiger from Apax Partners for $3 billion, including $2.6 billion in cash and $380 million in PVH common stock, sometime back.

(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)

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