Investment company Hellaby Holdings has agreed to acquire value footwear retailer Number 1 Shoe Warehouse for NZD22 million.

Hellaby, which owns the Hannahs and Hush Puppy chains, will purchase an 80 per cent stake in the business on 1 July, and the rest on 31 August 2007.

Number 1, which has 29 stores, plans to grow its store chain to 40 stores in the next three years, as well as upgrading its smaller retail locations.

Hellaby will operate Number 1 as a separate business, and said it will not make any changes to management or staff.

Number 1's managing director Gerard Peterson will continue running the company for the next two years minimum, and will stay on as director and a consultant for at least the coming four years.