Industry Predicts 2012 M&A Target

After a year packed with mergers and acquisitions deals, the footwear industry is looking for Collective Brands Inc. to be next firm on the block.

In a recent survey conducted online, Footwear News asked executives from both the retail and wholesale sides of the business what company is most likely to be bought in 2012. More than 25 percent suggested Collective or one if its brands and subsidiaries, including Payless ShoeSource, the Performance & Licensing Group, Stride Rite, Saucony and Sperry Top-Sider.

Acquisition talk has been swirling around Collective for several months, as the company has been undergoing a strategic review of assets and a search for a new CEO. However, market observers have been uncertain about whether all or a portion of the company would sell.

While the majority of survey participants pinpointed the parent firm as a target, a number of voters chose the Payless division as a likely option.

Aside from Collective Brands, FN readers wrote in dozens of other acquisition opportunities, including Shoe Carnival, which received 6 percent of votes. Additionally, Nina, Keen, Toms Shoes and Crocs each received 3 percent of votes.

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