Casual Male to Acquire Rochester Big and Tall

In a deal that marries George Foreman’s clothing line with Versace’s, Canton, MA-based Casual Male, whose properties include cataloger/retailer Casual Male Big & Tall, has agreed to acquire $65 million privately held Rochester Big & Tall for $15 million in cash and the assumption of $5 million of bank and subordinated debt. The deal is expected to close by Oct. 31.

San Francisco-based Rochester carries name brand names such as Versace, Ermenegildo Zegna, Burberry, and Polo Ralph Lauren, while the Casual Male customer shops primarily for moderately priced casual clothing.

The big-and-tall menswear market is estimated at $5.5 billion-$6.0 billion, and Casual Male hopes to grab a bigger piece of the pie. The company says that by capitalizing on merchandising and marketing synergies, it can offer Rochester significant expansion opportunities ] in the United States and international markets. Besides its catalog and e-commerce business, Rochester operates 21 U.S. stores and a London store. Casual Male operates more than 485 Casual Male Big & Tall stores in 44 states.

Robert L. Sockolov, Rochester’s president/CEO, will join the board of directors of Casual Male at the close of the transaction. The existing executive management team of Bill Sockolov, Steve Sockolov, and John Soares will follow.

In other Casual Male news, second-quarter sales increased 6%, to $106.6 million for the three months ended July 31, compared with $100.5 million last year. Net income fell 85%, to $99,000, principally due to a $4.5 million marketing investment of in connection with the launch of its George Foreman merchandise line.

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