Tommy Hilfiger is to be bought by the owner of Calvin Klein, creating one of the world's largest clothing companies.

The Hilfiger label will be purchased by Philips-Van Heusen for $3 billion, creating a company with $4.6bn revenue.

Tommy Hilfiger - the man behind the label - said: "I look forward to remaining actively involved in the business. This is the next phase in the global evolution and expansion of the Tommy Hilfiger brand."

Hilfiger was sold by private equity firm Apax partners, who originally bought it for $1.6bn in 2006.

Other clothing lines under the Philips-Van Heusen business include Calvin Klein, Van Heusen, Arrow, IZOD and Bass and they expect to save $40m of cost synergies through the new deal.

Tommy Hilfiger began in 1985 with a men's clothing line, and has since expanded the brand to include shoes, perfumes and women's and children's clothing.

The brand's performance dipped at the beginning of last decade, but had turned around under Apax, which has expanded the brand from 574 stores to over 1,000 outlets.

Meanwhile, another fashion brand, Nicole Fahri, will be sold by its owners, French Connection, which is also closing most of its US operations.

The Fahri brand is expected to raise around $7.5 million for the group, which posted losses of $13.6 million over the last year.

Despite closing its operations in Japan and Scandinavia and announcing the closure of its US operation, the company made a strong sales performance in Europe and said its restructuring will return it to profitability.