Kellwood to buy Hanna Andersson for $175M

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Apparel marketer Kellwood Company has signed an agreement to buy multichannel merchant Hanna Andersson Corp. for approximately $175 million.

Hanna Andersson was founded by Tom and Gun Denhart in 1983 when Ms. Denhart could not find the colorful, high-quality cotton kids clothes she had known in Sweden. Products are marketed through a catalog, 18 retail stores and a Web site at www.hannaandersson.com.

In 2006, the Portland, OR-based Hanna Andersson's sales totaled approximately $100 million.

For Kellwood, which markets brands such as Claiborne, Nautica, XOXO and Baby Phat, the deal complements several company goals, including the desire to expand into upscale brands.

The Hanna Andersson brand also strengthens Kellwood's children's business platform, which includes Gerber Childrenswear.

Kellwood, St. Louis, MO, is also looking to strengthen its direct relationship with consumers, something that Hanna Andersson has a proven track record in.

In January, Kellwood hired Tom Pastorello as director of e-commerce, a new position within the company. Mr. Pastorello's role is to provide leadership across all Kellwood divisions as the company builds its e-commerce capabilities for its key brands.

Philip Iosca will continue to lead the Hanna Andersson management team as president/CEO.

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