Wolverine Expands Presence in Colombia

Wolverine World Wide Inc. and Forus SA have formed a new joint venture, called Lifestyle Brands of Colombia, to market footwear in that country.

The two firms have had a long-standing relationship, with Forus SA serving as Wolverine’s largest distributor and licensee in Latin America.

According to a company release, the newly formed company will have long-term distribution rights to market some of Wolverine’s key brands, including Caterpillar Footwear and Merrell. The firm also will market Forus’ established outdoor label, RKF.

Rockford, Mich.-based Wolverine will own 51 percent of the new venture, in addition to purchasing a 49 percent stake in Forus’ existing Colombian business, Forus SA Colombia, which has the rights to Wolverine’s Hush Puppies and Cushe brands in that country.

Forus, based in Santiago, Chile, owns and operates 23 retail locations and sells directly to Colombia’s key department and specialty footwear retailers.

 “Maximizing the growth of our lifestyle brands in premium segments of the global footwear and apparel markets is at the heart of our company’s strategy,” said Blake Krueger, chairman and CEO of Wolverine. “We expect these joint ventures to expand the retail presence of our brands through standalone stores, shop-in-shops and selected wholesale distribution in the exciting Colombian market.”

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