Spotlight on... Collective Brands' search for steady footing
After a US$2bn deal was announced this week to sell the business to a consortium made up of Wolverine Worldwide and private equity firms Blum Capital Partners and Golden Gate Capital in a US$2bn deal, just-style charts some of the key themes and events in the company's tumultuous history.
- Collective Brands was set up as a holding company when Payless ShoeSource acquired Stride Rite Corp for around US$800m plus debt. It operated three standalone business units - Payless, Stride Rite and Collective Licensing International - with Payless CEO Matthew Rubel appointed to lead the new entity.
- The company had trouble holding onto senior management, with Payless Shoesource's COO William May quitting after just a month in the post. Seven months later the company announced that Gregg Ribatt would become CEO of the group's Stride Rite division, replacing Rick Thornton. CEO Matt Rubel lasted until June 2011, when he was replaced by Michael Massey in the role.
- Collective Brands reported the first of many earnings declines following the acquisition of Stride Rite. In March 2008, the company swung to a fourth-quarter loss, which it attributed to a slowdown in consumer spending and costs relating to the deal.
- The company was also hit by a number of trademark disputes, with Adidas initially being awarded US$305m after a judge ruled that Collective Brands infringed its three-stripe trademark. This was later reduced to $65.3m. It also reached a US$30m settlement with K-Swiss over trademark infringement, hitting its second-quarter 2008 earnings.
- Licensing and international expansion became the company's focus, with franchise deals agreed to open Payless stores in Mexico, Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore during 2010. The same year, it announced plans to take its Stride Rite brand to China and South East Asia in a deal with Li & Fung retailing. In 2011 and 2012, it set its sights on the Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand and Korea, Australia and New Zealand, Japan, Singapore, Malaysia and Spain, as well as Mexico, Indonesia, Japan, five South American countries, and the Czech Republic.
- In 2011, Collective Brands unveiled plans to shutter 475 Payless and Stride Rite stores as the company swung to a US$35m second-quarter net loss. It then began a strategic review of the company, hiring Perella Weinberg Partners and Kurt Salmon as advisers.
- This week, Collective Brands signed a US$2bn deal to sell the business to a consortium made up of Wolverine Worldwide and private equity firms Blum Capital Partners and Golden Gate Capital. Wolverine Worldwide will acquire Collective Brands' Performance + Lifestyle Group (PLG), which includes the wholesale and retail operations of the Sperry Top-Sider, Saucony, Stride Rite and Keds brands. Blum Capital and Golden Gate will jointly acquire the operations of Payless ShoeSource and Collective Licensing International (CLI), which will operate as a standalone entity.
Women's wear retailer Christopher & Banks has appointed former Payless ShoeSource chief executive LuAnn Via as its new president and CEO....
Footwear maker Wolverine Worldwide has lowered its full-year earnings target after posting a 19% drop in third-quarter net profit amid challenging economic trading conditions in Europe....
Payless Holdings, which owns Payless ShoeSource and Collective Licensing International, has appointed Paul Jones as CEO. ...
Wolverine Worldwide, Golden Gate Capital and Blum Capital have completed the acquisition of US footwear company Collective Brands. ...
US footwear group Collective Brands has swung to a second-quarter net profit despite closing hundreds of stores. ...
Footwear company Collective Brands, whose shareholders earlier this week approved a deal to sell it to Wolverine Worldwide and two private equity firms, has set up a subsidiary in France. ...
Shareholders in footwear retailer Collective Brands have approved a deal to sell the company to Wolverine Worldwide and two private equity firms....
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