For VF, there are "no sacred cows" in strategic review
Why it matters: VF is one of the last surviving apparel conglomerates whose fortunes once rested on malls and the department stores that anchored them.
Details: VF's holdings include The North Face, Vans, Timberland, Dickies, Kipling, Smart Wool, Napapijri, Icebreaker and Altra, among others.
- An industry banker tells Axios that one way to interpret the CEO's comments is that any of those brands could end up being sold, not just the poorest performers.
- Brand management companies such as Authentic Brands Group are among the likely buyers of the businesses, the source says.
Our thought bubble: By placing a for sale sign on the brands, VF may be putting itself up for grabs.
- Recall The Jones Group, which opted to be taken private by PE firm Sycamore, which then separated the business piecemeal about a decade ago.
- A similar approach could be applied to VF, which is trading under $15 per share midmorning, levels not seen since the financial crisis in 2009.
Flashback: VF's made some bad bets, including the 2020 acquisition of streetwear brand Supreme for $2.1 billion.
- It wrote down the value of the asset by more than $400 million in 2022 and saw its creative director resign.
Catch up fast: The company is under pressure from investors, namely, activists Engaged Capital and Legion Partners, to turn the business around.
- It is conducting a sale process for its backpack business consisting of Jansport and Eastpak, with proceeds to pay down debt.