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South Korean firm buys K-Swiss for $170 million

January 17, 2013|By Shan Li
  • K-Swiss' fortunes have fallen as shoppers lost interest in shoes such as its classic all-white tennis shoe.
K-Swiss' fortunes have fallen as shoppers lost interest in shoes… (Stephen Osman / Los Angeles…)

Westlake Village athletic brand K-Swiss Inc. is being bought by South Korean retail giant E. Land World for about $170 million.

E. Land will pay $4.75 per share, or about a 49% premium, over Wednesday's closing price, K-Swiss said in a statement.

Known for its white stripes on white leather tennis shoes, K-Swiss' fortunes have fallen in recent years as its simpler designs fell out of favor with shoppers. Its sales have dropped by about 50% since 2005.

Steven Nichols, chairman of K-Swiss, lauded the purchase as being "in the best interests of K-Swiss and our stockholders."

"E. Land has a 30-year record of successfully building a global fashion and retail conglomerate," he said in a statement. "I believe that such a platform will provide K-Swiss with the resources to return to its former performance levels."

The merger, which has already been approved by the K-Swiss board of directors, still awaits the OK from at least 80% of the retailer's voting power. The deal is expected to close in the second quarter of 2013.


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