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Deckers Outdoor Corp. to Purchase Sanuk Shoe Brand

Goleta company will pay $120 million in cash initially for the exclusive license

Deckers Outdoor Corp., based in Goleta, has agreed to buy the Sanuk shoe brand for an initial payment of $120 million cash, according to a news release issued Friday.

The 38-year-old Deckers company said the purchase includes the exclusive license of the Sanuk sandals and shoe brand, and additional participation payments based on performance over the next five years.

“Sanuk is an ideal addition to the Deckers family of brands,” Angel Martinez, Deckers’ president, chief executive and chairman, said in a statement. “It’s a profitable, well-run business with a corporate culture similar to ours, and provides substantial growth opportunities, particularly within the action sports market where it has a large and loyal customer base of active outdoor enthusiasts. Its authentic product collections complement our existing portfolio with minimal overlap, and it’s a brand that we believe has true global lifestyle potential.”

Deckers, which announced $1 billion in annual sales last year and reported sales up 31 percent through March, carries six brands — UGG Australia, Simple Shoes, Teva, Tsubo, Ahnu and Mozo.

Deckers said it expects that the acquisition will boost earnings modestly this year before transaction costs.

Sanuk was founded in 1997 by entrepreneur Jeff Kelley, whose first product was a sandal made of green indoor-outdoor carpet. Sanuk is sold in more than 1,700 retailers in 40 countries, including REI, Bass Pro Shops, Dillards and Nordstrom. Its selection includes the Sidewalk Surfer Shoe and Yoga Mat sandal made from yoga mat material, which was the 2010 Product of the Year by the Surf Industry Manufacturers Association.

Sanuk, based in Irvine, will remain in Orange County and senior management will stay intact, according to the news release.

“We are excited to join forces with a company of Deckers’ caliber and culture,” Kelley said in the release. “Deckers’ specialty and focus is and has always been footwear, and this expertise will help globalize and accelerate Sanuk’s growth.”

Noozhawk staff writer Alex Kacik can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Become a fan of Noozhawk on Facebook.

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