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Bankrupt Rockport Confirms Plans to Sell to Private Equity Firm Charlesbank

Comfort-shoe leader Rockport, will soon have a new owner.

The Rockport Group LLC of Newton, Mass., which broke footwear ground in 1971 with its comfort-driven walking shoes, has announced that after completing a court-approved marketing process, it intends to complete an asset purchase with CB Marathon Opco LLC, an affiliate of Charlesbank Capital Partners LLC, pending approval by the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware.

According to a company statement, the sale will enable Rockport to ensure the continuation of its global wholesale, independent and e-commerce businesses. Following the sale, Rockport will have significantly less debt, the firm said.

Throughout the course of the sale, consumers can continue to shop its roster of brands, including Aravon, Rockport and Dunham, through the company’s channels of distribution.

Under the agreement, Charlesbank — a private equity investment company — will acquire substantially all of Rockport’s assets, including global wholesale, independent and e-commerce operations and all of its Asia and Europe operations, which will be completed no later than July 31.

On May 14, Charlesbank was named the stalking-horse bidder in the company’s court-supervised sale process under Section 363 of the Bankruptcy Code. Rockport engaged in discussions with a number of interested buyers, but did not receive any competing bids in advance of the 5 p.m. EST time deadline on June 29.

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