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Converse Stock Soars as Interco Discloses Offer

August 01, 1986|MARTHA GROVES

The stock price of Converse Inc., a big name in athletic shoes, soared $10 a share to $26.75 in over-the-counter trading Thursday after Interco Inc., which makes and sells Florsheim shoes, disclosed that it holds a 9.6% stake in the company and has offered to buy it.

St. Louis-based Interco, which also manufactures apparel and Ethan Allen furniture, said it has bid $26 a share for Converse but is prepared to offer $28 a share if the Converse board acts quickly to approve a definitive agreement.

Initial Reaction 'Favorable'

In North Reading, Mass., a Converse spokesman said the company had received an "oral proposal" of $28 a share. At that price, Interco would pay about $147 million for the shares that it does not hold.

Richard D. Loynd , chairman of Converse, said his initial reaction to the proposal is "favorable." The board is expected to meet today.

John Horan, publisher of Sport Ink, a Yardley, Pa., newsletter covering the sports apparel industry, said that Converse's earnings performance has been "atrocious" of late but that high interest in the company's colorful canvas high-top sneakers is resulting in a turnaround.

"They'll make good money this year," he said.

The company has the third-largest share of the U.S. branded athletic footwear market.

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