The board of Gildan Activewear Inc. (TSX:GIL) is pushing potential buyers of the clothing manufacturer to make their initial offers by April 10, 2024 as the company looks for alternatives to an activist investor campaign aimed at replacing its directors. The board of Montreal-based Gildan put the company up for sale in February after receiving an unsolicited takeover approach. The expression of interest came after the board dismissed Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer Glenn Chamandy in December, kicking off a campaign led by fund manager Browning West to replace the board and reinstate Mr. Chamandy.

Gildan?s financial and legal advisers are now pushing potential bidders to make their initial offers by next Wednesday (April 10, 2024), according to two sources familiar with the process, as part of a strategy to give shareholders clarity on the sales process ahead of the company?s annual meeting, scheduled for May 28, where shareholders will vote on board members. The Globe and Mail is not identifying the sources because they were not authorized to discuss the matter. Takeovers traditionally play out over several months, with target companies and their advisers using the initial offers to narrow the list of potential buyers down to two or three bidders.

At least three U.S. private equity funds ? Bain Capital (Bain Capital, LP), Sycamore Partners (Sycamore Partners Management, L.P.) and Clayton Dubilier & Rice LLC (Clayton, Dubilier & Rice, LLC) ? are circling Gildan, according to analysts.

Gildan?s advisers are the investment banking units of Royal Bank of Canada and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and law firm Norton Rose Fulbright Canada LLP. Canaccord Genuity Group Inc. is advising the special committee of Gildan?s board that will consider takeover offers. Its board has been in a war of words with Browning West and several other institutional investors since December, with some fund managers arguing that its shares are undervalued and that the directors?

decision to put the company up for sale is driven by their fear of losing the proxy vote at the annual meeting. On April 3, 2024, Gildan stock closed at USD 36.79 on the New York Stock Exchange.