Crocs Leaps as Blackstone Preps $200M Investment

By RetailFOXBusiness

Crocs (NASDAQ:CROX) said Blackstone Group (NYSE:BX) is making a $200 million investment in the shoe maker, giving the private equity titan a 13% stake.

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The stock rose 13.2% to $15.09 in pre-market trading Monday. Through Friday’s close, Crocs was down roughly 7.4% since the start of this year.

The investment will also give Blackstone two board seats and preferred stock that can be converted to common stock in three years.

The Niwot, Colo.-based company plans to use Blackstone’s investment to help pay for a $350 million stock repurchase, which is expected to happen in the first quarter.

Crocs also announced late Sunday that chief executive John McCarvel plans to retire in April and give up his board seat.

“As we look forward, 2014 will be a significant transition period for the company,” Chairman Thomas Smach said in a statement. “We will recruit a new CEO who will work with the reconstituted board to refine our short-term and long-term strategic plans, which will include a sharper focus on earnings growth with less emphasis on top-line growth.”

Crocs, which sells its clogs and other shoes in 125 countries, saw its sales drop 2% in the third quarter amid softness in the Americas and Japan. In the U.S., Crocs said consumers spent less on footwear, apparel and other goods.

The company projected fourth-quarter revenue at the low end of its outlook of $220 million to $225 million. Crocs also expects a loss of 23 cents a share.