Wolverine World Wide, Inc. (NYSE: WWW) today announced additional steps in the ongoing transformation of its brand portfolio, including the sale of the Hush Puppies intellectual property in China, Hong Kong, and Macau, and the sale of the U.S. Wolverine Leathers business.
“These transactions are the latest actions in our ongoing effort to reshape our portfolio and target our most meaningful opportunities,” said Mike Stornant, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Wolverine Worldwide. “We continue to streamline our organization and become more efficient, so that we can direct greater resources into our growth brands, pay down debt, and enhance long-term shareholder value.”
The Company has entered into a definitive agreement to sell the Hush Puppies trademarks, patents, copyrights and domains in China, Hong Kong and Macau to its current sublicensee, Beijing Jiaman Dress Co., Ltd., for approximately $58.8 million. As part of the transaction, the two parties have entered into a License and Cooperation agreement providing for mutual engagement and brand stewardship of the Hush Puppies brand in the region. Wolverine will continue to own and operate the Hush Puppies brand throughout the rest of the world. The transaction is expected to close in the coming weeks subject to satisfaction of customary closing conditions.
“Our strategic approach in China, Hong Kong and Macau is to focus on our biggest brands, and selling the Hush Puppies intellectual property in these countries is a part of this strategy,” said Chris Hufnagel, President and Chief Executive Officer of Wolverine Worldwide. “Hush Puppies remains an important brand in our portfolio, and we are committed to growing it through strong global licensing partnerships and expanding our connections with local consumers. We look forward to partnering with Beijing Jiaman Dress and to ensuring the global success of Hush Puppies.”
The Company also completed the sale of its U.S. Wolverine Leathers business to its long-time customer, New Balance, for approximately $6 million in total proceeds. The Company assigned Wolverine’s U.S. tannery contracts to New Balance, and continues to explore alternatives for the non-U.S. Wolverine Leathers business.
The transactions announced today follow the Company’s recently completed sale of Keds to Designer Brands, Inc., the parent company of footwear retailer DSW, and the previously announced strategic alternatives process for Wolverine’s Sperry brand.
ABOUT WOLVERINE WORLDWIDE
Founded in 1883 on the belief in the possibility of opportunity, Wolverine World Wide, Inc. (NYSE:WWW) is one of the world’s leading marketers and licensors of branded casual, active lifestyle, work, outdoor sport, athletic, children’s and uniform footwear and apparel. Through a diverse portfolio of highly recognized brands, our products are designed to empower, engage and inspire our consumers every step of the way. The Company’s portfolio includes Merrell®, Saucony®, Sperry®, Sweaty Betty®, Hush Puppies®, Wolverine®, Chaco®, Bates®, HYTEST®, and Stride Rite®. Wolverine Worldwide is also the global footwear licensee of the popular brands Cat® and Harley-Davidson®. Based in Rockford, Michigan, for 140 years, the Company’s products are carried by leading retailers in the U.S. and globally in approximately 170 countries and territories. For additional information, please visit our website, www.wolverineworldwide.com.