Hanna Andersson Sold, Again

Apparel marketer Kellwood Co. yesterday announced it is acquiring Hanna Andersson Corp. Kellwood will pay about $175 million for the children’s clothing cataloger/retailer; the transaction is expected to close by the end of the fiscal second quarter. Hanna Andersson last changed hands six years ago when it was purchased by management and investors.

The $2 billion Kellwood Co., which specializes in branded as well as private-label product, believes the acquisition will help it expand into upscale brands, according to chairman/president/CEO Robert C. Skinner, Jr. “Another part of our strategy is to connect more directly with the consumer,” Skinner said in a statement. “The Hanna Andersson business model is focused on a direct-to-consumer format with a rich media e-commerce Website, colorful catalogs, and an inviting store format.”

Founded by Gun and Tom Denhart in 1983, Hanna Andersson became known for its Swedish-inspired cotton kid’s apparel. The founders sold the company in March 2001 to a corporation owned by management and an investor group led by private-equity firm Dorset Capital. The Portland, OR-based merchant’s sales for 2006 were about $100 million; the business includes a catalog, 18 stores, and a Website.

Following the Kellwood acquisition, Hanna Andersson management will stay in place, and president/CEO Philip Iosca will continue to run the company. “Phil and his team have done an excellent job building the Hanna Andersson business over the last 12 years,” Skinner said.