Casual shoemaker Skechers USA Inc. has raised its buyout offer for wheeled shoemaker Heelys Inc. to $143 million cash and hinted it eventually might be willing to offer more.

In a letter sent to Heelys board on Wednesday, Manhattan Beach-based Skechers offered to acquire Heelys for $5.25 per share, a 7.8 percent premium over the Dallas-based shoemaker's Tuesday closing price. In late May, Skechers offered to buy Heelys for a range of $4.75 and $5.10 per share, which Heelys' board rejected.

Healys shoes have a wheel embedded in the heel and are popular among youth. Skechers said it may be willing to raise its bid after an examination of the company's financial books. The company also said it would consider a stock-and-cash deal should Heelys' board consider that more attractive to its shareholders.

"We believe that this price represents a significant value for Heelys' stockholders and acceptance of this proposal is in the best interests of Heelys and its stockholders," wrote Chief Executive Robert Greenberg in the letter, which was attached to a press release. The letter noted the two companies have been discussing a deal since December.

Skechers shares rose 27 cents, or 1.4 percent, to $20.21 in after-hours trading Wednesday after closing down 3 cents to $19.94. Heelys shares gained 88 cents, or 18 percent, to $5.75 in after-hours trading.

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