New York -- Shoe manufacturer Wolverine Worldwide Inc. announced Tuesday that it has partnered with equity firms Blum Capital Partners and Golden Gate Capital to acquire Payless ShoeSource parent Collective Brands Inc. for about $1.3 billion.
Upon closing later this year, Wolverine – parent of Merrell and Hush Puppies -- will buy Collective's unit that owns brands Keds, Saucony and Stride Rite, which as a group generated revenues in excess of $1 billion last year. The investment firms will jointly acquire the Payless ShoeSource chain and Collective Licensing International unit, which will operate as a single company. The pair had combined sales of over $2 billion last year.
Last August, Collective Brands had announced that it would close nearly 500 underperforming stores over three years and was examining its alternatives.