US-based private investment firms Blum Capital Partners and Golden Gate Capital, along with Wolverine Worldwide, have agreed to buy specialty family footwear retailer Collective Brands for approximately $2bn.
Wolverine Worldwide will buy Collective Brands' Performance + Lifestyle Group, including the wholesale and retail operations of the Sperry Top-Sider, Saucony, Stride Rite and Keds brands.
Performance + Lifestyle Group had revenue of more than $1bn in the fiscal year ended 31 January 2012.
Blum Capital and Golden Gate will jointly buy Payless ShoeSource and Collective Licensing, which together will operate as a standalone entity.
Payless will continue to be headquartered in Topeka, Kansas and Collective Licensing in Englewood, Colorado.
Payless and Collective Licensing had combined revenue of around $2.4bn in the fiscal year ended 31 January 2012, operating over 4,300 Payless retail stores globally at year end.
Last summer, Collective Brands said it would shut around 475 non-performing outlets over a three-year period to better position its Payless and Stride Rite stores.
Wolverine Worldwide chairman and CEO Blake Krueger said the transaction provides dynamic portfolio expansion and diversification, and significant additional horsepower in five of their targeted growth areas - women's, athletic, casual, kid's and retail.
The transaction, subject to customary closing conditions, is expected to occur late in the third quarter or early in the fourth quarter of the current calendar year.
Payless sells footwear and accessories for the entire family.
The Collective Brands Performance + Lifestyle Group markets performance and lifestyle branded footwear sold primarily through wholesale and retail.
Collective Licensing is a youth lifestyle marketing and global licensing business.
Wolverine World Wide is a marketer of branded casual, active lifestyle, work, outdoor sport and uniform footwear and apparel. The company's portfolio of brands includes: Merrell, Hush Puppies, Wolverine, Sebago, Cushe, Chaco, Bates, Hytest, and Soft Style.
Blum Capital Partners has approximately $2bn of equity capital under management.
Golden Gate Capital has around $12bn of capital under management.