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Knitting / Apparel

Gold Toe, Moretz To Merge Hosiery Businesses

Sockwear manufacturers and marketers Gold Toe Investment Corp., Burlington, N.C., and Moretz Inc., Newton, N.C., will combine their businesses, resulting in one of the largest sock companies worldwide. The Blackstone Group, a New York City-based global private investment and advisory firm that is acquiring Gold Toe, is financially backing and facilitating the merger. The transaction price was not disclosed.

The merged company, Gold Toe/Moretz Inc., will focus on supplying department and specialty sporting goods stores and the mass market, in addition to operating its outlet and online stores. The new company’s combined financial and management resources may foster product line and distribution expansion, the companies report.

The Blackstone Group will be the majority owner of the company, with John Moretz, CEO, Moretz, as the second-largest shareholder. New York City-based Vestar Capital Partners, Gold Toe’s current owner, also will own a minority stake. Gold Toe’s and Moretz’s senior management will become part of the new company.

“The combined strengths of our new company are perfect complements,” said Jim Williams, president, Gold Toe. “Our diversified portfolio of premium brands will target multiple price points and distribution channels across a broad customer base. The company will be uniquely positioned to capitalize on future strategic opportunities.”

September/October 2006