Heelys Exploring ‘Strategic Alternatives’

NEW YORK — Nearly three months after Skechers USA Inc. first revealed its desire to buy the wheeled footwear maker, Heelys Inc. is evaluating “possible strategic alternatives to enhance shareholder value,” the company said in a written statement released Wednesday evening.

“We believe that management is making progress on restoring the company’s business to profitability. Further, our unique and patented footwear provides us a niche business that, in a difficult retail environment, is less susceptible to price competition,” Gary Martin, Heelys chairman, said in the statement. “With that said, we also believe that we have an obligation to our shareholders to consider strategic alternatives that could enhance shareholder value. During this evaluation process, we will continue to remain focused on business as usual for all of our operations and on executing our business plan.”

Skechers in mid-August offered to buy Heelys for $142.8 million, or $5.25 a share, an offer Heelys subsequently rejected. Skechers later said it is still “very interested” in acquiring the firm. However, on Skechers’ latest quarterly conference call, held Oct. 22, the firm said it could not provide an update on its interest in buying the brand.

Dallas-based Heelys said it does not plan to disclose any developments during the process until a definitive agreement is entered, or until the board decides to terminate the process. It will also not provide or update prior earnings guidance.

Investment banking firm Houlihan Lokey is assisting Heelys in analyzing potential deals.

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