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Archive for Saturday, August 18, 2007

Payless ShoeSource closes Stride Rite deal

August 18, 2007

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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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