Outside Business Journal

Icebreaker is acquired by VF Corporation

On the road to becoming a $1 billion brand

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Icebreaker announced today that it has been acquired by VF Corporation. The U.S.-based company owns many big name brands, including SmartWool, Vans, The North Face, and Timberland. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Founder Jeremy Moon says the inspiration for starting Icebreaker in New Zealand 22 years ago was to offer a natural choice to adventurers, and to ultimately build a global brand.

With the might of VF behind it, he’s one step closer to doing just that.

“Our partnership with VF provides us with the largest platform in the world to tell our story, access new markets, and reach new consumers at an accelerated pace. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for our global Icebreaker team and for our New Zealand wool suppliers to introduce a whole new universe of consumers to the benefits of sustainably farmed, ethically sourced, New Zealand Merino wool,” Moon says.

Currently, Icebreaker is sold in 47 countries, producing more than 4 million articles of clothing every year, with headquarters across four continents.

Chairman of Icebreaker, Rob Fyfe, says this big move will give Icebreaker a chance to benefit from being a part of VF’s globally recognized brands. He says the company will benefit from VF’s experience and consumer insights.

“Jeremy’s goal, was to build a global community that believed in his vision that nature held the answers to creating sustainable high-performance outdoor clothing,” Fyfe says. “Today the Merino apparel category, that Jeremy created, is a fast-growing category in both the outdoor and active urban clothing markets around the globe. Icebreaker continues to lead the category with global sales growing 12 percent to NZ$223 million this year.”

Steve Rendle, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of VF says bringing the Icebreaker brand into the VF portfolio is a special opportunity. “Its natural fiber focus is an ideal complement to our SmartWool brand, which also features Merino in its clothing and accessories,” Rendle explains.

“Together, the SmartWool and Icebreaker brands create an advantaged position for VF as a leader in the growing and underpenetrated natural fiber category. We will have unmatched capabilities that will strengthen our ability to create innovative and sustainable natural fiber products across our brand portfolio, especially in VF’s Outdoor and Workwear brands.”

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