Fashion brand plans Japanese assault
Fashion brand Polo Ralph Lauren is to acquire Japanese licensee Impact 21 for US$345 million (£173.7 million) as it attempts to expand in Japan, its largest market after the US.

The retailer said it will buy the 80 per cent stake in Impact 21 that it does not own already, for about US$22 (£11.1) a share in cash.

The New-York based company also revealed it will buy the remaining 50 per cent of Polo Ralph Lauren Japan for about US$23 million (£11.6 million). This will make Polo Ralph Lauren Japan a wholly owned subsidiary of Polo Ralph Lauren.

Polo Ralph Lauren chairman and chief executive Roger Farah said: 'Today's announcement represents a significant development in our global business. For nearly 30 years, the Japanese customer has responded well to our extensive range of products. With that foundation and with the opening of our Tokyo flagship store last year, we have been able to expand the assortment of our luxury products and show the Japanese customer the diversity, breadth and excitement of the brand.'

He added: 'Japan is our second-largest country in terms of sales of our products after the US and, upon the successful completion of these transactions, we intend to enhance our presence in major department stores, expand our portfolio of Ralph Lauren stores and further build the infrastructure to support a growing business. We will look to reinforce the brand's image and elevate the distribution in Japan to better align with our business globally.'

Impact 21 president and representative director Tadao Enomoto said: 'This is an exciting time for Impact 21 as we become part of one of the most recognised brands in the world. We look forward to working closely with Polo Ralph Lauren as we strive to meet the needs of our customers and support the company's future growth in Japan. Our board of directors is in full support of this tender offer.'