US footwear manufacturer Crocs Inc is to buy back half of Blackstone Capital Partners’ stake in the company.
As part of the so-called ‘lock-up agreement’, Crocs will pay US$183.7m for half of the preferred stock Blackstone acquired through a $200m investment in 2014. This represents about 6.9m common shares on an as-converted basis.
Meanwhile, Blackstone will immediately convert its remaining preferred shares into about 6.9m shares of the company’s common stock and has agreed not to sell or transfer those shares to a third party for about nine months.
As part of the agreement, Crocs will pay Blackstone a one-time additional payment of $15m, and Blackstone’s right to nominate future directors will be reduced from two to one.
“In the years following Blackstone’s investment, the company has materially strengthened its brand, improved its operations and returned to growth, and we appreciate the support Blackstone has provided all along the way as one of our largest stockholders,” says Crocs CEO Andrew Rees. “Both the lock-up and the current intention of the Blackstone nominees to remain on our board through their June 2020 terms evidence Blackstone’s continued confidence in our strategy and business prospects.
“Looking ahead, we are confident that by consistently executing against our strategic priorities, we will continue to expand our brand and our business, leading to incremental shareholder value creation.”
Prakash Melwani, senior managing director at Blackstone and Crocs board member, added: “We made our 2014 investment in Crocs because we believed in the potential of the Crocs brand and business. Today, we continue to believe in the company’s strong future. After this transaction, we will become sizable common stockholders in Crocs to allow us to continue to participate in its anticipated growth.”
In connection with the transaction, Crocs said it has incurred total non-recurring charges of $101m to net income available to common stockholders.
Looking ahead, the Colorado-based firm has reaffirmed its guidance and continues to expect fourth-quarter revenues of $195m-$205m compared to $199.1m in the year-ago period, and full-year revenues to be 4%-5% higher than 2017 revenues of $1.02bn.