NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Phillips-Van Heusen ( PVH)is the most likely contender to purchase Tommy Hilfiger, which is reportedly up for sale.
Tommy is owned by private-equity firm Apax Partners, and trade publication Women's Wear Daily reported that the group is in talks with potential buyers. The most probable buyer: PVH. PVH has a long history of successful acquisitions of brands like Calvin Klein and Superba, and J.P. Morgan analyst Christopher Kim says he expects management will not only be focused on long-term synergies and accretion, but also accretion in the first year. As such, Kim expects Tommy Hilfiger would add 30 cents per share to earnings in the first year, and $250 million in annual debt pay down could translate in to a contribution of 20 cents per share annually. Tommy has a very strong free cash flow of about $3 to $4 billion, Kim wrote, and it generated $378 million in profit and $2.2 billion in sales in 2009. Tommy's strong presence in Europe could also be used as a platform for PVH to grow brands like Arrow and Izod, which currently generate little to no revenue in Europe. PVH is scheduled to report its fourth-quarter earnings on March 23. The company has raised its outlook for the quarter two times, most recently last month. It currently expects to earn 52 cents a share on revenue of $612 million. For the full-year PVH is looking for earnings between $3.20 to $3.25 a share. -- Reported by Jeanine Poggi in New York. Follow TheStreet.com on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook.