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U.S. Shoe Cuts Deal To Sell Footwear Unit

Fri., March 17, 1995

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.

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