Industry news

Aachen-based Hanesbrands Europe GmbH, one of the leading companies in Europe for printable corporate clothing, together with its related company Hanesbrands UK Ltd, were taken over on 29 May 2012.

The 100% subsidiaries of the US Hanesbrands Inc. corporate group have been sold to the Dutch consumer goods group Smartwares Holding. The new owner will continue to operate and expand Hanesbrands Europe GmbH and Hanesbrands UK Ltd, as an independent group. All staff members are to be retained and the company HQ will remain in Aachen, Germany.


Hanesbrands Inc. currently generates annual revenue of around $5 billion with textile brands such as Hanes, Champion, Playtex, Wonderbra and Donna Karan New York (DKNY). On 29 May 2012, the company which employs 55,000 people worldwide and is based in North Carolina, USA sold the subsidiaries Hanesbrands Europe and Hanesbrands UK to Smartwares Holding with all shares. The sale was based on the decision of the Americans to focus future efforts on the markets in America, Asia, Australia, New Zealand and Africa.


Smartwares is a fast-growing corporate group for consumer products based in the Dutch town of Duiven. The group generates annual revenue of €350 million with operations in the four product segments of Consumer Care, Light & Safety, Decoration & Connectivity and Lifestyle. The subsidiary Sorbo Fashion, is responsible for the apparel division. Sorbo Fashion is selling socks and underwear throughout Europe, both under its own brands and under numerous licensed brands such as Umbro, Disney or Hello Kitty. Its customers include all major European textile and fashion retailers.
Alongside its headquarters in Duiven, Sorbo Fashion also operates its own sales offices in Belgium, France and Germany. Smartwares employs more than 1,000 people.

With Hanesbrands Europe and Hanesbrands UK, Smartwares acquired one of the five largest groups of European vendors of printable textiles. Smartwares has also purchased the trademark rights and European licences for the highly successful Stedman and Hanes brands.