Brown Shoe Acquires American Sporting Goods

After weeks of rumors, Brown Shoe Co. announced on Thursday it had acquired American Sporting Goods.

Brown reportedly purchased the Aliso Viejo, Calif.-based company for $145 million in cash plus assumed net debt. In a released statement, Brown said ASG in 2010 accrued $232 million in sales with earnings of $29.6 million.

The acquisition is fully funded through borrowing under Brown’s revolving credit agreement.

ASG’s brand portfolio includes Avia, Ryka and And 1. The privately held firm has been on the market since 2005.

“Acquiring ASG adds the critical element of performance athletic footwear to our comfort and fitness offerings, better positioning Brown Shoe to meet consumer demand for products that support active and healthy lifestyles,” Brown President and COO Diane Sullivan said in a statement. “We also gain talent with capabilities that can be applied across our enterprise, designers skilled in creating technical athletic footwear, as well as sales and leadership teams experienced in reaching retail partners and consumers within the healthy living trend.”

“Moreover,” she added, “with the backing of Brown Shoe’s strong balance sheet, sourcing organization, technology platform and other resources, the entire ASG family of brands will have additional opportunities for growth and increased market share.”

According to Brown, ASG will maintain its offices in Aliso Viejo. Mark Lardie, Brown Shoe divisional president of wholesale, will oversee the company’s brand roster. Current ASG CEO Jerry Turner will serve as a consultant to Brown for one year during the transition process.

For his part, Turner said in a statement the acquisition would strengthen ASG’s management structure and ability to connect with consumers. “Through this acquisition, we gain valuable insight from a strong management team and a company with a heritage of connecting footwear brands with customers, which we expect will lead to the continued success and expansion of the ASG family of brands that we have built over decades,” he said. “Brown Shoe is recognized for its ability to develop, grow and market footwear brands in a consumer-focused way, and this was at the core of our decision to make American Sporting Goods part of the Brown Shoe family.”

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