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Saturday, July 7, 2012 - Page updated at 10:30 a.m.

Japanese retailer to buy Portland footwear firm

By johanna Somers
Seattle Times business reporter

Japanese athletic retailer ABC-MART has agreed to buy Portland-based LaCrosse Footwear for $20 a share in cash, or approximately $138 million.

The purchase price is 82 percent more than LaCrosse Footwear's average closing stock price over the previous 30 days, the companies said in announcing the tender offer. The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter.

ABC-MART is the leading shoe retailer in Japan and operates approximately 800 stores. LaCrosse makes work boots for sectors such as law enforcement, transportation, and mining, as well as hunting and hiking boots.

LaCrosse's board and management, which own approximately 8 percent of the outstanding shares, have agreed to sell their shares, according to a press release.

"We are very pleased to recommend this transaction to LaCrosse Footwear shareholders as the next chapter in our company's rich history," said Richard Rosenthal, chairman of the LaCrosse board.

LaCrosse will continue to operate in Portland after the sale, the companies said.

Johanna Somers: 206-464-3714 or jsomers@seattletimes.com

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