Collective Brands has allegedly chosen a group made up of Wolverine World Wide and Golden Gate Capital as the leading contender to buy the company.

The acquisition may be announced early this week, Bloomberg reported, saying that the offer values the company at US$21-22 a share and is likely to be chosen over a bid from South Korean company E-Land.

However, unnamed sources told Bloomberg that the decision isn't final and could change at the last minute as the companies work out terms and financing.

In August last year, Collective Brands revealed plans to launch a strategic review after it swung to a second quarter loss of US$35m. It hired Perella Weinberg Partners and Kurt Salmon as advisers.

The announcement came as the company said it would close some 475 under-performing Payless and Stride Rite outlets.