Blackstone replaces 2 directors on Crocs board

Blackstone Group replaces 2 directors on Crocs board as part of $200 million cash infusion

Associated Press

NIWOT, Colo. (AP) -- Crocs said Monday it named two directors chosen by the private equity fund Blackstone Group to its board of directors.

Crocs agreed to let Blackstone choose two directors in December after the firm gave Crocs a $200 million bailout. Blackstone nominated Prakash Melwani and Gregg Ribatt for spots on Crocs' board, and when the company appointed them to the board, directors Stephen Cannon and Jeffrey Margolis resigned.

Melwani is a senior managing director for Blackstone and chief investment officer for its private equity group. Ribatt was most recently the president and CEO of its collective brands performance and lifestyle group.

Crocs Inc. still has a total of eight directors.

The shoe maker said in December that it would use Blackstone's cash infusion and cash on hand to buy back $350 million in company stock. Blackstone received preferred stock that pays a 6 percent dividend. Crocs also said CEO John McCarvel is retiring and will give up his seat on the board at the end of April.

Shares of Crocs lost 4 cents to $14.81 on Monday. They are up 11.1 percent since the company announced the deal with Blackstone. The stock climbed above $75 in late 2007 as buyers snapped up the clogs, which are known for being comfortable but ugly. But Crocs hasn't been able to add new products with the same popularity. Its shares fell under $1 in late 2008 before they started to recover.

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