Dr. Scholl's Owner Caleres Acquires Leather Footwear Maker Allen Edmonds

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Caleres (NYSE: CAL) has purchased Allen Edmonds Shoe Corp., a U.S. manufacturer of men’s leather footwear and accessories, in a $255 million deal from private equity firm Brentwood Associates. The deal for Allen Edmonds will allow the combined company to benefit from brand and product development, as well as material sourcing.

Allen Edmonds was founded in 1922 to create custom-made men’s dress and casual shoes. The target’s shoes use only “premium” leathers that repel moisture and hold shape. The shoes are all handcrafted using a 212-step process from its factory on the shores of Lake Michigan in Port Washington, Wisconsin. In addition to shoes, Allen Edmonds manufactures belts, breifcases, backpacks, travel bags, cufflinks and lapel pins, wallets and money clips, umbrellas, bar ware, pens and eyewear.

“The addition of Allen Edmonds to the Caleres brand portfolio allows us to rapidly increase our exposure in men’s footwear, solidifying a new revenue stream to drive overall growth,” states Caleres CEO Diane Sullivan.

Founded in 1878, Caleres is a global footwear brand manufacturer for the family, healthy living, and contemporary fashion consumer. For more than 135 years, Caleres has looked “to inspire people to feel good, feet first.” The buyer, boasting itself as the pioneer of the modern footwear industry, distributes its brands to more than 2,500 retailers in the U.S., Canada, and across more than 60 countries globally. Caleres’ family and contemporary fashion brands include: Dr. Scholl’s, Sam Edelman, Franco Sarto, Vince, Via Spiga, LifeStride, George Brown Bilt, Diane von Furstenberg, and Carlos Santana.

Brentwood is a Los Angeles private equity firm with more than $1.4 billion in assets under management. Since the firm's inception in 1984, Brentwood has invested in 50 portfolio companies focused on consumer goods and retail. The PE firm has invested in companies such as: Boston Proper LLC., Taco Bell Corp. and KFC owner K-Mac Holdings Corp., Marshall Retail Group, Sundance and Veggie Grill.

Middle-market deals for footwear brands include: CCMP Capital Advisors LLC purchase of slip-resistant shoe maker Shoes for Crews and DSW Inc.’s (NYSE: DSW) deal for Ebuys Inc. to expand online and into international markets. The deal by DSW comes as the footwear retailer, along many others, is combatting the challenge of shifting consumer habits from store fronts to e-commerce. In 2015,  Coach Inc. (NYSE: COH) completed acquisition of Stuart Weitzman for nearly $574 million; and Berkshire Partners along with New Balance Athletic Shoe Inc. acquired the Rockport Co. from the Adidas Group (ETR: ADS) for $280 million. Wells Fargo Securities (NYSE: WFC) served as financial adviser to Caleres in the deal for Allen Edmonds.

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