U.S. Shoe has decided to go barefoot.
United States Shoe Corp. on Thursday announced the sale of its footwear division to competitor Nine West Group Inc., for $600 million, rejecting a $1.1 billion acquisition offer for the entire company from an Italian shoemaker.
The sale, if completed, would close a 71-year-old chapter in the life of U.S. Shoe, originally formed as a combination of five small Ohio shoe manufacturers that later expanded into a diversified retailer selling women’s clothes and eyeglasses.
U.S. Shoe’s board said Luxottica Group S.p.A.’s unsolicited $24-per-share offer was inadequate. The board recommended shareholders not sell their shares to the Milan, Italy-based maker of eyeglass frames and sunglasses. The board scheduled a meeting April 21 for shareholders to vote.