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Strategic Buyers Step Up to the Plate; Credit crunch has led to a drying up of private equity money and an opportunity for strategic purchases

New York, NY - (DNR) - The slowing economy has touched every corner of the apparel industry, even how companies are bought and sold.

The private equity concerns that had voraciously snapped up fashion companies in the last few years, lured by the potential for fast growth and high margins, are pulling back, and homegrown apparel companies are stepping in, according to merger and acquisition experts. "The deals these days are far more strategic than financial," said Allan Ellinger, senior managing director of Marketing Management Group, an apparel consultant.