VF Corp. ( VFC) said Tuesday that it plans to sell its intimate apparel brands to underwear giant Fruit of the Loom for $350 million.

The news sent shares of VF down $4.23, or 5.3%, to $76.12 in recent trading.

The intimate apparel business includes names such as Vanity Fair, Lily of France and Vassarette. The sale will leave VF to focus on its jeanswear, sportswear and outdoor clothing brands.

"This marks an important chapter in VF's ongoing transformation toward becoming a higher growth, higher margin lifestyle company," said VF Chairman and Chief Executive Mackey McDonald in a statement.

VF's intimates business generated more than $800 million in revenue in 2006, equal to about 12% of the company's total top line. The unit's operating income was about $50 million, or 6% of VF's total.

The company will use proceeds from the sale to repurchase shares in 2007. VF also expects to record a loss of $45 million, or 40 cents a share, on the sale of the business.

VF said 2006 earnings from continuing operations will be 2 cents to 4 cents lower than its previous guidance, reflecting a "more difficult mass channel retail environment in the fourth quarter." The company predicted 2006 earnings from continuing operations of $4.70 to $4.72 a share, with revenue of $6.22 billion.

Looking ahead to 2007, VF forecast 10% growth in earnings per share from continuing operations, with an 8% rise in revenue.

The sale to Fruit of the Loom, a unit of Berkshire Hathaway ( BRK.A), is expected to be completed in the first quarter.

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