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New Balance and Berkshire Partners form new entity to buy Rockport


Canton, Mass. -- Athletic-shoe maker New Balance has teamed up with private-equity firm Berkshire Partners LLC to acquire The Rockport Company from the Adidas Group for $280 million.

Financial terms were not disclosed.

As part of the deal, New Balance affiliate Drydock Footwear LLC, whose brands include Cobb Hill, Aravon and Dunham, will join with The Rockport Co. to create The Rockport Group.

The Rockport Group will become a new stand-alone company. Drydock founder and president Bob Infantino will serve as CEO of The Rockport Group once the acquisition is complete.

For Adidas, selling Rockport is a strategic move that will allow it to focus on its core athletic business.

“Rockport is a brand that has performed well over the last years. However, our focus is clearly on sport and operating a brand portfolio with a clear agenda to unleash the potential of athletes and inspire consumers to live active lives. The brown shoe category is not core to this strategy and the sale of Rockport will allow us to reduce complexity and pursue our target consumer more aggressively with the Adidas, Reebok and TaylorMade brands,” said Herbert Hainer, CEO, Adidas Group.

The deal is expected to close later this year.

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