Blackstone invests in Crocs; CEO retiring
Last Updated: 14:04 December 30, 2013
The net proceeds from the sale of about $180 million will be used to help fund a $350 million stock repurchase program approved by the Crocs board of directors, according to a press release.
Multiple media outlets reported in November that Niwot-based Crocs was rumored to be mulling various strategic options that included a stock buyback.
"We've been unable to repurchase stock while negotiating this transaction, but we now expect to do so beginning in the first quarter of 2014," Crocs' chief financial officer Jeff Lasher said in the release. "We intend to be patient, methodical and opportunistic as we execute this expanded buyback plan."
The series A convertible preferred stock will have a 6 percent cash dividend rate. It is convertible into shares of common stock at a conversion price of $14.50 per share. Any time after three years from the issuance date, if the closing price of Crocs common stock equals or exceeds $29 for 20 consecutive days, the shares of preferred stock will convert into shares of common stock.
Crocs shares were up 20 percent to $16.05 by midday Monday, their highest since closing at $16.98 on July 24 before dropping to 13.55 the next day.
McCarvel has led Crocs since 2010. His resignation becomes effective when a replacement is named or April 30, whichever comes first, according to documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The filings noted that McCarvel is due a $1.1 million separation payment once his resignation is effective, and another payment of $1 million on the one-year anniversary of his resignation date. He will remain with the company at his regular salary in a consulting capacity through April 30 if his successor is named sooner.
"John's contributions to this company are immeasurable," Crocs' chairman of the board Thomas J. Smach said in the release. "As our CEO, he led a turnaround of Crocs and established it as a profitable, diversified company ... Under his leadership, Crocs has grown into a global branded company that employs 4,500 people and sells over 55 million shoes per year in more than 90 different countries."
Blackstone, which will own about 13 percent of Crocs stock on an as-converted basis, will be entitled to two seats on Crocs' board of directors. The board has begun an outside search for McCarvel's replacement, and Blackstone will be able to appoint one of its board members to the search committee.
In October, Crocs reported third-quarter net income of $13 million on revenue of $288.5 million. The profit was a sharp decline from the $45.1 million for the same period in 2012. That earnings report projected even steeper revenue and income declines for the fourth quarter, for which statements have yet to be released.
"Blackstone sees tremendous opportunity in the Crocs brand and global franchise," said Prakash Melwani, senior managing director and chief investment officer of Blackstone's Private Equity Group. "The company has the infrastructure and products to enable continued growth across the wide range of geographies and channels through which it operates. We believe our consumer and retail investing experience coupled with the network of value-added resources within Blackstone will make us a strong partner for Crocs."
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