Athletic powerhouse Nike plans to add brand bulk by acquiring 95-year-old sneaker maker Converse, Inc. in a $305 million deal announced today. The transaction, which still must be approved by US government regulators, will partner Nike with recently troubled footwear brand Converse. Converse declared bankruptcy in 1991and again in 2001. Since then, however, the Andover, Massachusetts-based maker of such classic canvas styles as the Chuck Taylor All-Star and the Jack Purcell low-top has been showing signs of an economic comeback. The current craze for retro, heritage brand sneakers has helped fuel this recovery. Business analysts generally approved of the deal and said that Converse should benefit from its access to Nike’s vast customer base and marketing machine. In turn, Nike is expected to gain strength by adding another well-known name to its stable of brands, which now includes Cole Haan and surf giant Hurley, among others.
(From AFP, Reuters and FWD)