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Collective Brands will be split in two in $2-billion acquisition

The owner of Payless ShoeSource and footwear brands such as Sperry Top-Sider and Keds will be purchased by Wolverine Worldwide, Blum Capital and Golden Gate Capital.

May 02, 2012|By Tiffany Hsu, Los Angeles Times

Collective Brands Inc., which owns footwear brands such as Sperry Top-Sider and Keds as well as the 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 by early in the fourth quarter.

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 Payless and Stride Rite stores. In February, the company said it suffered a net loss of $154.1 million for the full fiscal year, compared with a $122.6-million profit during the previous fiscal year.

Wolverine will end up with Collective's Performance + Lifestyle Group, the umbrella company for brands such as Sperry, Keds, Saucony and Stride Rite. That segment of Collective, 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 andHarley-DavidsonFootwear.

Blum and Golden Gate will get Payless and Collective Licensing International, which will have separate headquarters in Topeka, Kan., and Englewood, Colo. Those parts of Collective, including more than 4,300 Payless stores globally, had $2.4 billion in revenue last year.

Golden Gate has invested in restaurant chain California Pizza Kitchen Inc., retail brandPacific Sunwear of California Inc.and nutrition companyHerbalife Ltd.

tiffany.hsu@latimes.com

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