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Owner of Payless, Keds to be split in $2 billion acquisition

May 01, 2012|By Tiffany Hsu
  • A yellow Sperry Top-Sider shoe. Parent company Collective is being split in two in a $2 billion acquisition.
A yellow Sperry Top-Sider shoe. Parent company Collective is being split… (Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles…)

Collective Brands Inc., which owns footwear brands such as Sperry Top-Sider and Keds and the shoe retailer Payless ShoeSource, will be split in two by multiple buyers in a purchase valued at $2 billion, including debt.

Wolverine Worldwide, Blum Capital and Golden Gate Capital formed an acquisition company to buy Collective for $21.75 a share. The deal was unanimously approved by Collective’s board and is expected to close late in the third quarter or early in the fourth.

The price represents a 104% premium on Collective’s 30-day average stock price before Aug. 24, when the company first announced that it was looking into a strategic and financial shift for its operations.

Facing a tough market and poor earnings, Collective last year closed 352 of the 475 stores it intends to shut down by the end of 2013. In February, the company said it suffered a net loss of $154.1 million for the full fiscal year, or $2.73 a share, down from $122.6 million in profit, or $1.75 a share, during the previous year. Revenue was up 2.5% to $3.5 billion from $3.4 billion.

Wolverine will end up with Collective’s Performance + Lifestyle Group, the umbrella company for brands such as Sperry, Keds, Saucony and Stride Rite. The business, which pulled in more than $1 billion in revenue in the last fiscal year, will continue to operate out of Lexington, Mass.

Wolverine already owns shoe brands such as Hush Puppies, Patagonia Footwear and Harley-Davidson Footwear.

Blum and Golden Gate will land Payless and Collective Licensing International, which will have separate headquarters in Topeka, Kan., and Englewood, Colo. The two businesses, which include more than 4,300 Payless stores globally, made $2.4 billion in revenue last year.

Golden Gate has invested in restaurant chain California Pizza Kitchen, retail brand PacSun and nutrition company Herbalife.


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