AP News

Wolverine completes Collective Brands deal


ROCKFORD, Mich. (AP) — Wolverine Worldwide Inc. and two private investment firms said Tuesday that they have completed their roughly$2 billion acquisition of the Collective Brands Inc., which owns the Payless ShoeSource retail chain and the Sperry Top-Sider, Saucony, Stride Rite and Keds shoe brands.

The deal, announced in May, splits Collective's shoe brands from its retail and other operations.

Wolverine brands include Merrell, Sebago and Hush Puppies. The Collective shoe brands business will continue to operate out of Lexington, Mass. Wolverine said the closing of the deal is the most significant milestone in the company's history.

Investment firms Blum Capital Partners and Golden Gate Capital will jointly own the operations of Payless ShoeSource and Collective's international licensing business, which will together operate as a standalone business known as Payless Holdings. Payless will continue to be headquartered in Topeka, Kan., and the licensing business in Englewood, Colo.

The deal includes $21.75 per share in cash for Collective shareholders and the assumption of the company's debt, for a total value of about $2 billion.

Wolverine expects the acquisition will add 35 to 50 cents per share to its 2013 fiscal year earnings and 60 to 80 cents per share in 2014.

Wolverine shares rose 86 cents, or 2 percent, to $43.95 in afternoon trading.


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