NEW YORK, Dec. 14 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Everlast(R) Worldwide Inc. (Nasdaq: EVST), manufacturer, marketer and licensor of sporting goods and apparel under the Everlast brand name, today announced the signing of a new four-year license agreement with Jacques Moret, Inc. of New York City. As of January 1, 2006, this new agreement grants Moret, a major supplier to the U.S. apparel market, a license for Everlast men's activewear, sportswear, outerwear and swimwear in the United States. Moret will partner with M. Hidary and Company Inc. for design, development and sales of the activewear portion of the license. M. Hidary has achieved great success with its many years of experience in the men's branded activewear business. They will purchase certain men's apparel inventory owned by Everlast and assume other transitional costs associated with the men's business. Additionally, certain key sales, merchandising and operational personnel will join the new group. Seth Horowitz, Chairman, CEO and President of Everlast, said, "Everlast has achieved tremendous success from operating its own men's apparel business. However, we came to the conclusion that the Company and brand would greatly benefit from licensing the men's apparel category to Jacques Moret, Inc., one of the industry's leading suppliers. As a result of this agreement, the men's line will benefit from Moret's market relationships and abilities for sourcing. We are quite familiar with the management of Moret and their strengths, as we granted our U.S. women's apparel license to them late last year. The early success of that license helped to make the decision to grant this license for U.S. men's apparel a logical one. Further, we foresee many synergies for Moret in leading both our men's and women's apparel in the U.S. market place." Horowitz continued, "Distribution levels of Everlast men's apparel will remain unchanged and will continue to be focused on department and specialty stores, mid-tier department stores as well as sporting goods retailers. Orders already placed with Everlast for spring and summer men's apparel will be fully shipped in joint efforts between Everlast and Jacques Moret, Inc. during the transition period. Customer satisfaction and avoidance of disruptions will be a top priority for both companies." Joey Harary, President of Jacques Moret, Inc., stated," We are extremely excited with our relationship with Everlast. We have every belief that we will be able to put the resources behind Everlast men's apparel that will result in a significant expansion of shelf-space and an increase in Everlast's brand equity; we believe this will help our women's business significantly, as well. We will be working with M. Hidary and Company Inc. of New York to guarantee that our Everlast men's active apparel business will be handled with the strong emphasis and ultimate expertise it deserves." He continued, "Over the past five years, the management of Everlast Worldwide has taken the brand to new heights of consumer awareness through innovative marketing and merchandising programs. Their ability to execute one major brand exposure campaign after the other, through product placement in the critically-acclaimed movies Million Dollar Baby and Cinderella Man, to the unscripted drama, The Contender, produced by Mark Burnett Productions and DreamWorks, has quite frankly amazed us." Seth Horowitz concluded by stating, "Licensing men's apparel to Jacques Moret will allow Everlast management to focus its talents and efforts on our professional and retail boxing equipment and worldwide licensing businesses, which have achieved new heights during 2005. In addition, by eliminating our apparel businesses, we believe we will be able to identify and execute even more cost containment initiatives that will further enhance Everlast's operating results." About Everlast Worldwide Inc. Everlast Worldwide Inc. manufactures markets and licenses sporting goods and apparel products under the Everlast brand name. Since 1910, Everlast has been the preeminent brand in the world of boxing and is among the most dominant brands in the overall sporting goods and apparel industries. Over the past 95 years, Everlast products have become the "Choice of Champions(TM)", having been used for training and professional fights by many of the biggest names in the sport. Everlast is the market leader in nearly all of its product categories, responsible for leading eight of the top ten boxing equipment products in sales. In addition to producing and marketing boxing equipment and accessories, Everlast Worldwide Inc. licenses its brand to providers of men's and women's sportswear and active wear, children's wear, footwear, watches, cardiovascular exercise equipment and gym/duffel bags. At the retail level, Everlast's licensed products generate over $700 million in revenues. The company's Web site can be found at http://www.everlast.com. About Jacques Moret, Inc. Jacques Moret, Inc. manufactures activewear, bodywear and intimates under its brand names: Jacques Moret; Everlast; Norma Kamali-Everlast; Jockey Activewear; Etonic; Freestyle, a Danskin Company; Scanty; and 2(X)ist men's underwear. In addition Jacques Moret, Inc. is an activewear licensee and is the leading replenishment supplier of both branded and private label activewear in department stores, mass merchandisers and sporting goods chains nationwide. The company's Web sites can be found at www.moret.com or www.2xist.com. Statements made in this Press Release that are estimates of past or future performance are based on a number of factors, some of which are outside of the Company's control. Statements made in this Press Release that state the intentions, beliefs, expectations or predictions of Everlast Worldwide, Inc. and its management for the future are forward-looking statements. It is important to note that actual results could differ materially from those projected in such forward-looking statements. Information concerning factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in forward- looking statements is contained from time to time in filings of Everlast Worldwide with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Copies of these filings may be obtained by contacting Everlast Worldwide or the SEC.
SOURCE Everlast Worldwide Inc.