Wolverine World Wide is selling its U.S. Wolverine Leathers business to New Balance for approximately $6 million in total proceeds, the company announced Friday. In the release, Wolverine called New Balance a longtime customer and said all Wolverine’s U.S. tannery contracts would be assigned to the athleticwear brand.
The company said it will continue to “explore alternatives” for its non-U.S. leathers business. In December 2022, Wolverine said it planned to either license or divest both its Wolverine Leathers and Keds businesses, and the company sold Keds to Designer Brands in February.
Meanwhile, Wolverine is selling its Hush Puppies intellectual property in China, Hong Kong and Macau, according to the statement.
All the Hush Puppies trademarks, patents, copyrights and domains in those regions will be sold to Wolverine’s current sublicensee, Beijing Jiaman Dress Co., Ltd., for approximately $58.8 million, per the release. Both companies will provide “engagement and brand stewardship of the Hush Puppies brand in the region,” per the arrangement, and Wolverine will continue to own and operate the Hush Puppies brand throughout the rest of the world.
The transaction is expected to close in the coming weeks.
“Our strategic approach in China, Hong Kong and Macau is to focus on our biggest brands, and selling the Hush Puppies intellectual property in these countries is a part of this strategy,” Chris Hufnagel, Wolverine’s president and CEO said in the release. “Hush Puppies remains an important brand in our portfolio, and we are committed to growing it through strong global licensing partnerships and expanding our connections with local consumers.”
The moves come following an announcement earlier this year that Wolverine was “exploring strategic alternatives” for its Sperry brand of boat shoes.
“These transactions are the latest actions in our ongoing effort to reshape our portfolio and target our most meaningful opportunities,” Mike Stornant, Wolverine’s executive vice president and chief financial officer said in the release. “We continue to streamline our organization and become more efficient, so that we can direct greater resources into our growth brands, pay down debt, and enhance long-term shareholder value.”