Collective Brands may be courting more suitors

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Collective Brands may be courting more suitors

Collective Brands, the owner of the Payless ShoeSource chain, is weighing final offers to sell itself to Korea’s E-Land Group or Wolverine World Wide, said two people with knowledge of the matter.

The Kansas-based company has attracted at least one bid valued at about $2 billion including debt, said one of the sources, who declined to be named because the talks are private. Collective Brands is also considering offers from a few private-equity funds for parts of the company after bids came in late last week, they said.

Collective Brands plans to make a decision on the bids in the coming days, added the same source. Collective Brands, which also markets Saucony and Sperry Top-Sider shoes, announced a strategic review in August and has been working with Perella Weinberg Partners LP and Kurt Salmon to explore options.

The company, which is trading at around $19.22 a share, expected to receive bids that valued it at $20 to $22, people with knowledge of the matter said last month. That range is higher than the company anticipated in August, when it disclosed a review of plans to increase shareholder value, the sources said.

Collective Brands had a market value of about $1.17 billion at yesterday’s close. The company had $610 million of debt as of Jan. 28, data compiled by Bloomberg showed.

E-Land, which owns fashion brand stores, discount malls and department stores across Korea, targets footwear sales of 6 trillion won ($5.3 billion) by 2015, the Maeil Business Newspaper reported in March.

Bloomberg

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