E-Land sells K-Swiss for $260 million

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E-Land sells K-Swiss for $260 million

Korean fashion and retail conglomerate E-Land Group said Thursday that it has signed a $260 million deal to sell its subsidiary, K-Swiss, in line with its efforts to improve its financial footing.

E-Land said the deal to sell its sports brand to Chinese fashion sportswear brand Xtep will be completed by August this year.

E-Land acquired the U.S. shoemaker K-Swiss in 2013 for some $170 million.

“Through this deal, we will strive to strengthen our budget while Xtep will be able to secure a new growth engine, creating a win-win situation for both,” said a spokesperson for E-Land.

Separately, E-Land said it will set up a joint venture with Xtep to do business in China.

E-Land will own a 51 percent stake in the joint venture.

XTep, founded in 2002, is publicly traded on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.

In 2016, E-land also sold Teenie Weenie, a casual clothing brand, to a Chinese women’s fashion brand for 1 trillion won ($858 million) as part of efforts to cut its debt.

Teenie Weenie, a bear-themed casual wear brand owned by the group’s Chinese arm, was sold to V-GRASS, an upscale Chinese clothing brand.

E-Land also sold Modern House, a home and living brand, to a private equity firm MBK Partners that year.

The series of asset sales came as E-Land has been grappling with worsening finances.

In March, E-Land Retail announced it will buy back 400 billion won worth of its shares from financial investors as it is unable to complete planned initial public offering by June.

The decision to buy back the shares was made after E-Land Retail concluded it will be difficult to go public by the promised date due to the volatility in the stock market.

E-Land Retail’s debt ratio last year was estimated at 172 percent, despite its operating profit rising 32 percent on year.

BY JIN MIN-JI, YONHAP [jin.minji@joongang.co.kr]
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