Jeremy Moon, the founder of merino clothing firm Icebreaker, has bagged a whopping $95 million from the sale of the company.
Prior to the firm being sold to US retail giant VF Corporation for $288 million, Moon held a 33 per cent stake in the company, meaning he would have received approximately $95.04 million from the takeover deal.
READ MORE: • Icebreaker sells for cool $288m
The 48-year-old started the company in 1995 at the age of 24 with a $200,000 investment from his friends, family and parents of his friends.
In his early 20s he stumbled across a merino farm in a series of coincidental events and was so inspired by the experience that he decided to create his own garments.
At the time, he didn't know how to make clothing but told the Herald during a profile interview that it wasn't a problem as he always asked a lot of questions.
Moon grew up in Christchurch and originally didn't set out to start a business but rather was looking for an opportunity to lead an international life, he said.
"My eyes were opened at a young age to being based in New Zealand and living an international life, so actually my goal was to live in New Zealand and find a way that I could move between North America, Europe and Asia," he said last January.
Moon was chief executive of Icebreaker for 19 years until now-chairman Rob Fyfe took over the reins in June 2014. Greg Smith now heads the company.
Icebreaker apparel is sold in 47 countries worldwide and last year made more than $220m in global sales, of which 86 per cent were in offshore markets. The company buys 25 per cent of the merino wool New Zealand grows and produces more than four million garments a year.
North Carolina-based VF Corporation, which also owns retail brands Timberland, Vans and The North Face, bought the company in November last year.
The Overseas Investment Office (OIO) signed off the deal last week, and the financial details were today made public in its decision.
In the decision, the office said it was satisfied the new owners had the "relevant experience and acumen and are of good character", and that VF Corporation had showed financial commitment to the investment.
Moon said the takeover was a "once-in-a-lifetime opportunity" when the deal was first announced in November.
"Our partnership with VF provides us with the largest platform in the world to tell our story, access new markets and reach new consumers at an accelerated pace," Moon said.
"This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for our global Icebreaker team and for our New Zealand wool suppliers to introduce a whole new universe of consumers to the benefits of sustainably farmed, ethically sourced, New Zealand merino wool."
Icebreaker signed a 10-year, $100m supply contract with New Zealand merino wool growers a week after the deal was first announced.
VF Corporation chief executive and chairman Steve Rendle said adding Icebreaker to its retail portfolio was a "special opportunity".
"Together, the SmartWool and Icebreaker brands create an advantaged position for VF as a leader in the growing and underpenetrated natural fibre category," Rendle said. "Its natural fibre focus is an ideal complement to our SmartWool brand, which also features merino in its clothing and accessories."
Icebreaker was said to have considered more than 24 serious offers prior to committing to a deal with VF Corporation.
NYSE-listed VF Corporation has a market capitalisation of around US$29.5 billion ($40.5b), and distributes to more than 170 countries worldwide.
Moon was appointed Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for his services to business in 2008.