Archive for Saturday, August 18, 2007

Payless ShoeSource closes Stride Rite deal

August 18, 2007


Payless ShoeSource Inc. said Friday it had completed its acquisition of competing shoe store chain owner The Stride Rite Corp. for about $800 million.

As previously announced, Payless also said it was changing its corporate name to Collective Brands Inc., a Topeka-based holding company that now operates the Payless and Stride Rite chains under their own names, as well as Collective Licensing International, a brand development and licensing company.

More than 80 percent of Stride Rite shareholders approved the transaction during a special meeting Thursday, the company said. Besides paying $20.50 per share, Payless also is taking on some Stride Rite debt, pushing the deal value to about $900 million.

The deal teams the size of Payless, with nearly 4,600 stores throughout the western hemisphere, with Stride Rite's portfolio of high-end shoe brands, such as Keds, Tommy Hilfiger Footwear and Saucony.

Payless shares, which have traded in a 52-week range of $22.07 to $37.20, climbed 90 cents Friday to close at $24.31.


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