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25th August 2017, Hong Kong

New global knitwear supplier formed

The new venture will combine the strengths of South Ocean’s yarn development and manufacturing know-how with Li & Fung’s product design and supply chain innovation. Li & Fung, a Hong Kong based leading sourcing partner, has announced a joint venture with South Ocean Knitters Holdings, to create one of the largest and most innovative knitwear suppliers globally.

South Ocean is one of the world’s leading exporters and manufacturers of knitwear and in 2015 Li & Fung established a sweater vertical for its principal trading sweater business as part of its product specialization focus.

The new venture, named Cobalt Fashion Holding, will be owned 62% by Li & Fung and 38% by South Ocean and will combine the strengths of South Ocean’s yarn development and manufacturing know-how with Li & Fung’s product design and supply chain innovation.

The total turnover of the joint venture is around US$ 700 million. It will service brands and retailers at all price levels and in all segments, covering the US, UK, Europe, Japan and other Asian markets.

40 years of experience

Silas Chou, President and CEO of Novel Enterprises Limited, the parent company of South Ocean, well known for building billion-dollar brands Tommy Hilfiger and Michael Kors, is confident that this partnership is an important milestone for the global knitwear industry.

“South Ocean is one of the most established knitwear companies in Asia with over 40 years of experience in supplying the world’s top brands and retailers with beautiful, functional and innovative knitwear,” said Silas Chou. “We see tremendous synergies in the joint venture with Li & Fung. Together, we will be driving innovation in the industry and delivering value to our customers.”

Joining forces

“We are excited to join forces with South Ocean,” commented William Fung, Group Chairman, Li & Fung. “We both have a long history and solid track record, with a strong foundation of product innovation and expertise. Given our access to the world’s leading fashion brands and retailers, we have first-hand insight into how knitwear and its supply chain can be transformed to best suit today’s fast-changing apparel market.”

“We have been steadily investing in deepening our product expertise across our three product verticals: sweaters, beauty and furniture since 2015. With this joint venture with South Ocean we aim to be not just the largest in the knitwear industry, but the best-in-class.”

A signing ceremony was held this week with Li & Fung’s Group Chairman William Fung and Silas Chou, President and CEO of Novel Enterprises Limited, the parent company of South Ocean. Closing of the transaction, and establishment of Cobalt Fashion will take place once the necessary regulatory approvals have been obtained.

www.lifung.com

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