Blank garment manufacturer Stedman has been acquired by US-based group Next Level Apparel to support expansion of both brands internationally.

Next Level Apparel, which is also a designer, manufacturer and supplier of premium blank apparel, bought the German-based company to help it achieve its ambitions for “strategic geographic expansion in Europe”.

Based in Aachen in Germany and dating back to 1953, Stedman provides premium casual and sportswear blank garments in 40 countries, with its own distribution centre in Ghent in Belgium.

Stedman general manager Marcel Schweigert said: “The team at Stedman is excited to join ranks with Next Level Apparel, a strong partner and the perfect match, thanks to numerous synergistic qualities and values across both companies.

“This partnership opens up new growth opportunities for everyone involved, and I am personally thrilled to be part of it, not only as a stakeholder but also as a shareholder.”

Founded in 2003 and based in California, Next Level Apparel has continued to grow since being bought in 2018 by private-equity firm Blue Point Capital Partners which backed the latest deal.

Next Level Apparel CEO Randy Hales said: “The Stedman team has built a strong brand and a culture of excellence, and we’re excited to have them join Next Level Apparel. This partnership presents a great opportunity to expand and diversify both organisations’ footprints across Europe and the US.”

Blue Point principal Evan Cottington added: “Not only is this an exciting milestone for all involved, it also further validates our belief in M&A [mergers and acquisitions] and geographic expansion as key drivers for the business’s strategic growth.”

Last month, Stedman unveiled new products and styles for 2023, including the “super-stretchy” Clive Polo and Claire Polo range and a padded jacket, padded vest and softshell jacket to its Lux range.