FINANCE

Genesco exploring sale of a key division

BY Marianne Wilson

Genesco Inc. wants to focus its resources on its footwear business.

The company announced it is exploring the sale of its Lids Sports Group division. Lids operates the Lids headwear stores, Locker Room by Lids and other team sports fan shops and single team clubhouse stores

The company said its board has concluded through a strategic review process that it is in the best interest of the company and its shareholders to focus on its footwear businesses, which it believes “is the optimal platform to deliver enhanced shareholder value over the long term.”

The board has established a special committee, of four independent directors, to oversee the Lids Sports Group sale process. It has retained PJ Solomon to advise the special committee and the board in this matter.

“The Lids Sports Group has been an important part of Genesco, and we still see significant potential for the business,” said James W. Bradford, the company’s lead independent director and chairman of the special committee. “We believe, however, that it is in the best long-term interests of the company and its shareholders to focus on building upon our core footwear platform, in which the businesses share common strategic characteristics and where we believe we can generate greater operating efficiencies and synergies.”

Bradford went on to say that the company believes Lids Sports Group is undervalued as part of Genesco and that its sale “would generate capital that the company can deploy productively to further enhance shareholder value.”

In its release, Genesco said there is no assurance that the process to explore the sale of the Lids Sports Group business will result in any transaction or the adoption of any other strategic alternative.

Genesco Inc., a Nashville-based specialty retailer, sells footwear, headwear, sports apparel and accessories in more than 2,725 retail stores and leased departments throughout the U.S., Canada, the United Kingdom, the Republic of Irelandand Germany, principally under the names Journeys, Journeys Kidz, Shi by Journeys, Schuh, Schuh Kids, Little Burgundy, Lids, Locker Room by Lids, Lids Clubhouse, Johnston & Murphy, and on Internet websites.

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