Los Angeles Business Journal

South Korean Retailer to Buy K-Swiss Inc.

By Deborah Crowe Thursday, January 17, 2013

K-Swiss Inc. has agreed to a $170 million acquisition by major South Korean retailer E. Land World.

E. Land World in Seoul will pay $4.75 per share for the Westlake Village sports brand, which sells shoes, apparel and accessories. The acquisition was announced late Wednesday. The deal represents a 40 percent premium over the stock’s Wednesday close.

The merger must be approved by K-Swiss shareholders.

K-Swiss, which was founded in 1966, has struggled to recover from the recession and hasn’t posted an annual profit since 2008. E. Land, which manages 200 brands and operates more than 10,000 stores globally, last year was considered a potential bidder for the Los Angeles Dodgers, which eventually was bought by a group led by Magic Johnson.

“E. Land has a 30-year record of successfully building a global fashion and retail conglomerate and also shares our culture of valuing associates,” Steven Nichols, K-Swiss chief executive, said in a statement. “I believe that such a platform will provide K-Swiss with the resources and scale to return to its former performance levels.”

K-Swiss Inc. shares closed up $1.52, or 48 percent, to $4.71 on the Nasdaq.