ROCKFORD, Mich., Jan. 22 /CNW/ -- Wolverine World Wide, Inc. (NYSE: WWW)
announced today the acquisition of Chaco, a performance outdoor footwear brand
based in Colorado with a unique heritage and strong consumer following. The
acquisition also includes ULU, a premium brand of distinctive and fashionable
performance winter boots. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Chaco was launched in 1989 to meet the needs of the whitewater
enthusiast. The brand quickly grew to be a market leader in sandals sold in
the specialty outdoor retail channel. Chaco footwear is recognized and
well-respected for its BioCentric footbed and its adjustability, durability
and unique performance characteristics. The brand had global revenue of more
than $20 million in 2008, with the United States market representing nearly 90
percent of global sales.
This acquisition represents an excellent opportunity for Wolverine to
leverage its world-class sourcing and logistics infrastructure, building upon
Chaco's leadership in the U.S. market while expanding its business
All Chaco employees will continue employment with the brand as the
integration strategy is further developed and executed. Mark Paigen, Chaco's
founder, will serve as a key resource and consultant to the business. Chaco
will become part of Wolverine's Outdoor Group, which also includes the Merrell
and Patagonia Footwear brands, and will report to Scott Sible, President of
the Outdoor Group.
Mark Paigen commented, "I am pleased to bring Chaco and ULU together with
the strength and expertise of Wolverine World Wide. As part of Wolverine's
Outdoor Group, Chaco can maintain its integrity and dedication to making
footwear that has inspired strong consumer loyalty for more than 20 years.
This move will provide the needed resources and international reach for Chaco
to realize its full potential."
"We are excited to welcome the Chaco brand to our strong and expanding
portfolio of performance and lifestyle brands," commented Blake Krueger,
Wolverine's Chief Executive Officer and President. "Chaco's leadership in the
outdoor market, particularly in the sandal market, makes it a natural fit for
our Company, and we believe the brand will immediately benefit from
Wolverine's established global brand-building expertise, distribution network
and logistics infrastructure. We believe the Chaco brand still has tremendous
potential in the U.S. market and has enormous untapped potential globally. We
look forward to building on Chaco's strong history of category leadership and
consumer loyalty to drive future innovation and growth."
With a commitment to service and product excellence, Wolverine World
Wide, Inc. is one of the world's leading marketers of branded casual, active
lifestyle, work, outdoor sport and uniform footwear and apparel. The
Company's portfolio of highly recognized brands includes: Bates(R), Chaco(R),
Cushe(R), Hush Puppies(R), HYTEST(R), Merrell(R), Sebago(R) and Wolverine(R).
The Company also is the exclusive footwear licensee of popular brands
including CAT(R), Harley-Davidson(R) and Patagonia(R). The Company's products
are carried by leading retailers in the U.S. and globally in nearly 200
countries and territories. For additional information, please visit our
This press release contains forward-looking statements, including those
relating to the successful integration and development of the Chaco business.
In addition, words such as "estimates," "expects," "intends," "should,"
"will," variations of such words and similar expressions are intended to
identify forward-looking statements. These statements are not guarantees of
future performance and involve certain risks, uncertainties and assumptions
("Risk Factors") that are difficult to predict with regard to timing, extent,
likelihood and degree of occurrence. Therefore, actual results and outcomes
may materially differ from what may be expressed or forecasted in such
forward-looking statements. Risk Factors include, among others: the
Company's ability to successfully integrate and develop the Chaco brand and
business; changes in duty structures in countries of import and export
including anti-dumping measures in Europe with respect to leather footwear
imported from China and Vietnam and safety footwear imported from China and
India; trade defense actions by countries; changes in consumer preferences or
spending patterns; cancellation of orders for future delivery; changes in
planned customer demand, re-orders or at-once orders; the availability and
pricing of foreign footwear factory capacity; reliance on foreign sourcing;
regulatory or other changes affecting the supply of materials used in
manufacturing; the availability of power, labor and resources in key foreign
sourcing countries, including China; the impact of competition and pricing;
the impact of changes in the value of foreign currencies, including the
Chinese Yuan, and the relative value to the U.S. Dollar; integration and
operation of newly acquired and licensed businesses; the development of new
initiatives; the development of apparel; retail buying patterns; consolidation
in the retail sector; changes in economic and market conditions; acts and
effects of war and terrorism; weather; and additional factors discussed in the
Company's reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission and
Other Risk Factors exist, and new Risk Factors emerge from time to time
that may cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in any
forward-looking statements. Given these risks and uncertainties, investors
should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements as a prediction
of actual results. Furthermore, the Company undertakes no obligation to
update, amend or clarify forward-looking statements.
For further information:
For further information: Christi Cowdin, +1-616-866-6271, for Wolverine
World Wide, Inc. Web Site: http://www.wolverineworldwide.com