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O.C. BUSINESS PLUS | ORANGE COUNTY BRIEFLY

Sale of Converse to Footwear Acquisition OKd

April 13, 2001|Bloomberg News

A federal judge on Thursday approved Footwear Acquisition Inc.'s purchase of athletic-shoe maker Converse Inc., known for its All-Star brand sneakers.

The $117.5-million deal had stalled earlier this week when a group that included Irvine-based American Sporting Goods Corp. submitted a competing offer to buy Converse.

U.S. District Judge Sue Robinson postponed the sale to give American Sporting Goods--which makes footwear under the Avia, Nevados and Turntec brands--time to investigate Converse's finances and better define its offer.

But Thursday, Robinson concluded that Footwear Acquisition's offer for Massachusetts-based Converse was the only legitimate bid in the Chapter 11 bankruptcy auction.

American Sporting Goods lawyer Michael Nestor said at Thursday's hearing that the Irvine company was "no longer involved" in the alternative bid. American Sporting Goods could not be reached for comment.

Converse sought bankruptcy protection in January, listing $202 million in assets and about $226 million in debt.

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