Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Allen Edmonds Shoe Corp.Sold to Private Equity Firm

Upscale men's shoemaker Allen Edmonds Shoe Corp., which was sought by multiple suitors, will be sold to a Los Angeles-based private equity firm and keep its headquarters in Port Washington, the company said Monday.

Allen-Edmonds Sold
There was talk that Mens’ Wearhouse or Jos. A. Bank might make a play for Allen-Edmonds when the company was put on the market not long ago, but it looks like that wasn’t to be. Instead, the shoe brand will be going from private equity company to private equity company, and leadership will remain intact. And a collective exhale was heard coming from the direction of Ask Andy and Reddit.

An affiliate of Brentwood Associates will take over the company from Minneapolis-based Goldner Hawn Johnson & Morrison, which bought Allen Edmonds in 2006.

Terms of the transaction weren't immediately disclosed.

As part of the deal with Brentwood, former Goldner Hawn executive Paul Grangaard, who became Allen Edmonds' CEO in 2008 and helped get the company back on track financially, will remain chief executive.

Grangaard said he could not comment on who else bid for Allen Edmonds, but noted that Brentwood Associates stood out for its commitment to the company's current growth strategy and has a similar corporate culture. The Wall Street Journal recently reported that Men's Wearhouse Inc. had been interested in buying Allen Edmonds.

"Really, everything stays the same except our ownership and our board of directors will change. But these guys are truly a partnership with management, and they are investing in the direction we've already got going on here," Grangaard said in an interview Monday. "It's not only steady as she goes, it's put the throttle down a little more."

Founded in 1922, Allen Edmonds is one of the few remaining American shoemakers. It has 1,000 employees, about 450 of them at its headquarters in Port Washington.

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