UPDATED: Skechers Stock Gives Up Gains After Rumors Surface That VF Corp. in Talks to Buy

UPDATED: Skechers Stock Gives Up Gains After Rumors Surface That VF Corp. in Talks to Buy

UPDATE: The story has been updated with company response and current stock performance.

Manhattan Beach-based Skechers USA Inc. gave up about 1 percent of its gains in trading Friday after a Twitter post the previous day indicated that the lifestyle and performance footwear company was in advanced talks to be acquired by VF Corp. for $40 a share.

On Friday, Skechers traded at $26.57, down about 1.4 percent in intraday trading. The stock jumped 6.27 percent on Jan. 17 to close at $26.95 on heavy trading volume of 12.78 million shares, more than 5.5 times the daily average.

The posting surfaced on StockTradersNet early in the Thursday trading session. The post stated that Skechers was in “advanced talks” to be bought by Greensboro, N.C.-based VF.

“As a matter of policy, Skechers does not comment on market rumors or speculation,” said Skechers spokeswoman Jennifer Clay.

VF spokeswoman Vanessa McCutchen did not immediately return phone calls seeking comment.

The StockTradersNet post noted that deal price equates to an enterprise value of $6.5 billion, and that VF was offering $40 a share, which represented a 48.42 percent premium.

Later Thursday, Wells Fargo analyst Tom Nikic wrote in a research note that he’s “skeptical that such a deal would be consummated.”

Nikic said he doesn’t believe Skechers founder Robert Greenberg, who owns a majority stake in the company, would be eager or willing to cede control away from his family. He also doubted the acquisition rumor because it would be “far and away the largest” in VF’s history.

Robert Greenberg is Skechers chairman and CEO, and is father of Michael Greenberg, the company’s president, and Jeffrey Greenberg, a senior vice president.

Finance reporter Pat Maio can be reached at [email protected] or (323) 556-8329.

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