Renfro Corporation announced that Itochu Corporate (ITC) completed a purchase of 25% ownership in Renfro Corporation. Representatives of ITC will join Renfro’s Board of Directors. Itochu Corporation is an investment and trading company headquartered in Tokyo, Japan. Itochu has a global reach, with $55 Billion in annual revenue and investments across many industries throughout the world. Bud Kilby, CEO and President of Renfro Corporation, stated, “We are very pleased and very excited about the many opportunities a partnership with ITC offers. ITC’s resources and expertise will bring Renfro the opportunity for new brands, new businesses, accelerated growth and competitive raw materials. We are forming a task force between Renfro and ITC to identify how we can work together to grow our businesses, to take advantage of ITC’s global resources and better serve our customers.”
Mr. Kilby further stated, “I am sincerely looking forward to this partnership and all it brings to our Company.”
A copy of the Itochu Press Release follows.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
ITOCHU and ITOCHU International Announce Investment in RC Holding LLC, a Major US Manufacturer and Distributor of Legwear Products
ITOCHU Corporation (headquartered in Minato-ku, Tokyo; Masahiro Okafuji, President & CEO; hereinafter “ITOCHU”) and ITOCHU International Inc. (headquartered in New York, the United States; Yasuyuki Harada, CEO) announced today that they have acquired 25% of the shares in RC Holding LLC (headquartered in Delaware, the United States; Andrew Kilby, CEO), which owns Renfro Corporation (hereinafter, “Renfro”), a major manufacturer and distributor of legwear products in the United States. As a result of this acquisition, RC Holding LLC has become an equity-method company of ITOCHU.
Renfro was founded in 1921 as a sock factory in North Carolina, the United States. With its “commitment to providing the best quality, service and value to consumers and customers,” the company has built relationships of trust with its business partners. Today, Renfro is one of the largest manufacturers and wholesalers of legwear products in the United States, and its products are retailed mainly by the world’s largest retail chains, including Walmart, Kmart, Macy’s and Costco. It now boasts the largest share of legwear products purchased by each retailer. Renfro has a substantial advantage in its extensive production base with state-of-the-art facilities that meet the strict management standards of major retail chains, including company-owned factories in the United States and Mexico, joint venture factories in India and China, and partner factories in other Asian countries, as well as in its superior product planning capability backed by proprietary consumer research and in the delivery network it has established in the United States.
ITOCHU has made the further promotion of downstream strategy and the acceleration of overseas expansion as priority measures and has been looking for partners who will help it increase its overseas earnings. Renfro has been aiming to expand its business in the global market by taking advantage of the experience and expertise it developed in the United States, which has resulted in the investment announced this time. ITOCHU will accelerate the global expansion of its legwear-related business by combining Renfro’s planning and production platform and its sales network in the United States with ITOCUH’s global sales capability, material procurement capability, and other strengths based on its value chain from upstream to downstream. At the same time, ITOCHU will develop the domestic legwear market in Japan by harnessing the network it developed through many years of operation while also cooperating with Renfro Japan.
Profile of RC Holding LLC
Company name: RC Holding LLC
Representative: Andrew L.Kilby, Jr.
Location of headquarters: Delaware, the United States
Business description: Holding company
Profile of Renfro
Company name: Renfro Corporation
Representative: Andrew L.Kilby, Jr.
Location of headquarters: Mount Airy, North Carolina, the United States
Number of employees: 5,500 (on a consolidated basis)
Business description: Planning, production, and sales of socks and other products
Sales: Approx. 600 million US dollars (approx. 60 billion yen)