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The Associated Press May 2, 2011, 4:53PM ET

French luxe clothes seller buys skate brand Volcom

Volcom Inc., a California-based skater store that brands itself as "youth against establishment," expects to be bought by PPR, the French company that runs luxury brands including Gucci and Alexander McQueen.

The combination of near-opposites gives PPR a foothold in the ever-popular youth market.

PPR already owns the Puma athletic shoe brand and could benefit from economies of scale in that category, said analyst Brian Sozzi with Wall Street Strategies Inc.

PPR plans to pay $24.50 a share, which the companies said includes a 37 percent premium over the average price of Volcom shares over the last three months, for a total of about $607 million.

The deal still needs approval from shareholders and federal regulators.

Volcom's shares soared 24 percent on the news Monday, to $24.39 from $19.73. By the end of the day, at least five law firms said they'd look into filing class-action lawsuits against the purchase, alleging that shareholders weren't getting a fair price.

The companies expect to close the deal by year's end.

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