B'Gosh - Oshkosh puts itself up for sale
Tuesday 08 February 2005
OshKosh, based in the town of the same name in Wisconsin, was formed in 1895, making overalls for farmers and railroad workers. It was not until the early Sixties that its business took off, when it started to make the same outfits for children "so sons could dress like their fathers", according to the company's marketing.
OshKosh has tried in recent years to use its all-American brand to boost its presence in the adult market and to add other goods, such as car seats and buggies. In 2003 and 2004 it opened 15 "lifestyle" stores across the US, selling home accessories and clothes for children and adults.
OshKosh has experienced fierce competition from discount stores such as Wal-Mart, and last week announced it was rolling back on the strategy because sales of lines other than childrens wear were sluggish. A spokesperson said of a New York Post story, which reported that OshKosh had spoken to several investment banks about its strategic options: "The company does not comment on rumour and speculation." Goldman also made no comment.
OshKosh is 94 per cent owned by the Hyde family, which has run it since the 1930s. A possible block to any sale may be its high stock-market valuation. Its shares were up as much as 18 per cent in New York yesterday, valuing it at $320m (pounds 172m). It has no debt and $12.8m in cash.
Possible suitors include Jones Apparel, which owns the upmarket New York department store Barneys; Liz Claiborne; and Kellwood, the owner of Gerber Childrenswear. Another possibility is Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway, which owns the maker of the children clothes line Garanamils. Other private equity firms also are expected to take a look.
OshKosh operates 150 outlets and speciality stores, and sells through 4,600 stores worldwide.
- 1 School kitchen manager 'fired from Colorado school for giving hungry students free lunches'
- 2 California man brutally beat 82-year-old Sikh grandfather he mistook for 'one of those people'
- 5 Charles Kennedy 'had better judgement drunk than many sober politicians' says Ian Hislop
California man brutally beat 82-year-old Sikh grandfather he mistook for 'one of those people'
Amber Peat: Body found in search for missing 13-year-old who left house after argument with her parents
Alton Towers crash: Four guests seriously injured as Smiler ride carriages collide
Charles Kennedy dead: A guy once asked the Lib Dem leader who his favourite Muppet was and his letter response was wonderful
Gay teenager 'forced to have sex with his own mother' to 'cure' his homosexuality, campaigners in India say
Thousands of teenage girls enduring debilitating illnesses after routine school cancer vaccination
Migrants in Kos: Photos show real tragedy after Brits abroad complain of 'awkward' holidays
British tourists complain that impoverished boat migrants are making holidays 'awkward' in Kos
Michael Gove determined to scrap the Human Rights Act – even if Scotland retains it
Threat to scrap Human Rights Act could see UK follow Nazi example, warns UN official
Church of England 'one generation away from extinction' after dramatic loss of followers
iJobs Money & Business
£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The UK's fastest growing, multi...
£70000 - £90000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Financial Reporting Manager i...
£23000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They win lots of awards for the...
£13500 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This nationwide enforcement com...