CANTON, MA-With completion of the acquisition of Alpharetta, GA-based Rochester Big & Tall Clothing, Casual Male Retail Group solidifies its position as the leader in the growing big-and-tall segment of men’s apparel and also strengthens its posture in the upper-end, brand name arena of that market. The purchase price is between $20 million and $24 million and includes $15 million in cash, the assumption of $5 million in debt, and the potential for an additional $4 million over the next three years, subject to an earn-out provision.

Bob Sockolov, Rochester’s president and CEO, joins CMRG’s board of directors, and the Rochester name will remain in place. “We see an incredible synergy between the Rochester and Casual Male brands and the opportunity to leverage the brands,” said David Levin, president and CEO of CRMG, which is based here.

“Rochester is the premier bit and toll operator . . . ,” CRMG chairman Seymour Holtzman said in a statement when it announced its intention to acquire the company. “By capitalizing on the significant synergies in merchandising, marketing and direct to consumer business, we expect there to be significant expansion opportunities for Rochester in the US an international markets,” he added.

Rochester was founded more than 95 years ago and specializes in such brands as Burberry, Polo Ralph Lauren, Versace Classic, Ermenegildo Zenga, and Kenneth Cole. It has 21 stores in 12 US states and one unit in London along with catalog and Internet sales. For the year ended June 30, 2004, the family owned business reported unaudited sales of $65 million.

CRMG, the largest retailer of big and tall men’s apparel, focuses primarily on moderately priced casual clothing. It operates approximately 489 Casual Male Big & Tall stores, Casual Male catalog and e-commerce businesses, 13 Casual Male at Sears-Canada stores, and 44 Levi’s Outlet By Design and Dockers Outlet by Design stores. It is also the exclusive retailer of the George Foreman clothing collection. As of January 31, 2004, annual revenues were $429.5 million, and annual gross profits were in excess of $161 million.

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