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Wolverine acquires Chaco and ULU footwear brands
Jan '09
Wolverine World Wide Inc announced the acquisition of Chaco, a performance outdoor footwear brand based in Colorado with a unique heritage and strong consumer following. The acquisition also includes ULU,a premium brand of distinctive & fashionable performance winter boots. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Chaco was launched in 1989 to meet the needs of the whitewater enthusiast. The brand quickly grew to be a market leader in sandals sold in the specialty outdoor retail channel. Chaco footwear is recognized and well-respected for its BioCentric footbed and its adjustability, durability & unique performance characteristics. The brand had global revenue of more than $20 million in 2008, with the United States market representing nearly 90 percent of global sales.

This acquisition represents an excellent opportunity for Wolverine to leverage its world-class sourcing and logistics infrastructure, building upon Chaco's leadership in the U.S. market while expanding its business internationally.

All Chaco employees will continue employment with the brand as the integration strategy is further developed and executed. Mark Paigen, Chaco's founder, will serve as a key resource and consultant to the business. Chaco will become part of Wolverine's Outdoor Group, which also includes the Merrell and Patagonia Footwear brands, and will report to Scott Sible, President of the Outdoor Group.

Mark Paigen commented, "I am pleased to bring Chaco and ULU together with the strength and expertise of Wolverine World Wide. As part of Wolverine's Outdoor Group, Chaco can maintain its integrity and dedication to making footwear that has inspired strong consumer loyalty for more than 20 years. This move will provide the needed resources and international reach for Chaco to realize its full potential."

"We are excited to welcome the Chaco brand to our strong and expanding portfolio of performance and lifestyle brands," commented Blake Krueger, Wolverine's Chief Executive Officer and President. "Chaco's leadership in the outdoor market, particularly in the sandal market, makes it a natural fit for our Company, and we believe the brand will immediately benefit from Wolverine's established global brand-building expertise, distribution network and logistics infrastructure. We believe the Chaco brand still has tremendous potential in the U.S. market and has enormous untapped potential globally. We look forward to building on Chaco's strong history of category leadership and consumer loyalty to drive future innovation and growth."

Wolverine World Wide Inc

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