The transaction is expected to close in early 2013

The transaction is expected to close in early 2013

Sportswear giant Nike is to sell its footwear brand Cole Haan to private equity firm Apax Partners for US$570m.

Apax is teaming up with former Converse chief executive Jack Boys to run the lifestyle brand, which operates 108 domestic stores and another 68 in Canada, China and Japan.

The private equity firm said it plans to accelerate growth in the US and internationally. The transaction is expected to close in early 2013.

"The decision to divest of Cole Haan allows us to sharpen our focus on opportunities with the highest potential for strong returns, and to make sure the brands within the Nike portfolio are the most complementary to the Nike Brand," said Nike president and CEO Mark Parker.

While Alex Pellegrini, a partner in Apax's Retail & Consumer team, added: "Cole Haan is an iconic brand with broad consumer appeal and we believe the brand has even greater opportunities in the future."

Nike in May revealed plans to divest its Cole Haan - which it acquired in 1998 - and Umbro brands to focus on growing its Nike, Jordan, Converse and Hurley brands.

The sporting goods company sold its Umbro football brand to Iconix Brand Group for US$225m last month.