Footwear and accessories retailer Genesco Inc today rejected Foot Locker's $1.2bn acquisition proposal saying it is "not in the best interests of the Company's shareholders."

Foot Locker, the New York-based specialty athletic retailer, on Friday (20 April) launched the takeover bid for Genesco at $46 per share.

"Our Board unanimously rejected the proposal and concluded that it did not reflect the long-term value of Genesco, including its strong market position and future growth prospects," said Hal N Pennington, Genesco's chairman and chief executive officer.

Nashville-based Genesco operates more than 2,000 retail stores in the US and Canada, principally under the names Journeys, Johnston & Murphy, Underground Station and Hat Shack.

The company also sells shoes wholesale under the Johnston & Murphy brand and under the licensed Dockers brand.

Foot Locker has made no secret of its desire to make acquisitions and said upon publication of its fourth-quarter and year-end results on 7 March that it would continue to pursue acquisitions of "compatible specialty retail companies in the footwear industry."

In addition to a number of headwear nameplates, including Hat World and Lids, which sell athletic-oriented headwear, Genesco operates the Journeys Kidz, Underground Station, Jarman and Johnston & Murphy footwear chains.

The acquisition of Genesco would have given Foot Locker a presence in casual footwear as well as apparel and hats.