Wolverine World Wide, Inc., a global holding that operates as marketer and licensor of branded casual, active lifestyle, work, outdoor sport, athletic, whose portfolio includes brands like Merrell, Saucony, Sperry, Sweaty Betty, Hush Puppies and Wolverine, and also the global footwear licensee of brands like Cat and Harley Davison, announced that it has sold the iconic sneaker brand Keds to Designer Brands, Inc. (DBI), one of North America’s largest designers, producers and retailers of footwear and accessories and parent company of footwear retailer DSW.
In addition, the Company announced that it intends to grant an exclusive license to DBI for Hush Puppies footwear in The US and Canada, where DSW has been the exclusive retail partner for Hush Puppies since last year.
“Selling Keds and licensing the Hush Puppies brand for The US and Canada is an important step as we continue to advance our strategy to simplify the portfolio and direct resources to our growth brands. We are confident this will place Wolverine on an accelerated path to improved profitability and long-term shareholder value creation,” said Brendan Hoffman, Wolverine Worldwide’s president and CEO. “We are particularly pleased to have reached this agreement with Designer Brands, a longtime retail partner of ours and a natural fit to guide the iconic Keds brand into its next phase.”
“Combined, these transactions will generate total cash of over US$90 million, including the monetization of working capital. The proceeds will be used to pay down debt and strengthen our capital structure,” added Hoffman.
The Keds brand sale closed effective February 4, 2023, and the Hush Puppies license is anticipated to be effective as of July 1, 2023.