K-Swiss sold to Korea's E. Land for about $170M

S. Korea's E. Land buying K-Swiss, maker of 5-stripe white leather sneaker, for $170 million

Associated Press

WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif. (AP) -- After posting three straight annual losses, shoe maker K-Swiss is selling itself to South Korea retail conglomerate E. Land for about $170 million.

The companies said Thursday that E. Land World Ltd. will pay $4.75 per share for K-Swiss Inc. That's a 49 percent premium to the company's Wednesday closing price of $3.19.

Shares of K-Swiss jumped $1.53, or 48 percent, to $4.72 in premarket trading Thursday.

K-Swiss, founded in 1966, is famous for its 5-stripe white leather sneaker. The company has struggled to recover from the recession, and hasn't posted an annual profit since 2008. Analysts expect that 2012 was also unprofitable.

K-Swiss Inc.'s board approved the deal, which is expected to close in the second quarter. The Westlake Village, Calif., company's shareholders still need to approve it. Stockholders who hold 75 percent of voting power in K-Swiss have agreed to the deal, but it requires 80 percent approval.

E. Land has operations in nine countries and offers nearly 200 brands. It has more than 10,000 stores globally.

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