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Foot Locker to Acquire German Retailer

Footwear firm expands in Europe with $94.2 million deal for Runners Point.

There’s been a lot of talk about cross-border dealmaking given the lack of growth prospects in the U.S., but not tons of activity.

This story first appeared in the May 9, 2013 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

That might be starting to change.

Foot Locker Inc. inked a deal to acquire Runners Point Warenhandelsges for 72 million euros, or $95.1 million at current exchange. The transaction will bolster the New York-based Foot Locker’s presence on the home turf of Runners Point, which is headquartered in Recklinghausen, Germany, and has most of its more than 200 stores in that country.

The deal puts Foot Locker on a budding M&A trend. Consultancy PwC noted that 44 percent of the U.S. consumer and retail deals in the first quarter were cross-border affairs. That’s up from an average of 40 percent over the past five years.

Runners Point has stores under the Runners Point and Sidestep banners and an online subsidiary, Tredex. Altogether it logged sales of 197 million euros, or $253.3 million at average exchange, last year.

“This acquisition will enhance our position in Germany, the strongest economy in Europe, and also provide us with additional banners to further diversify and expand our European business,” said Ken Hicks, chairman and chief executive officer of Foot Locker. “We also intend to leverage Tredex’s strong digital capabilities to accelerate growth in our own developing European e-commerce business.”

Private equity firm Hannover Finanz currently holds a majority stake in the company, the rest of which is owned by ceo Otto Hurler and chief financial officer Harald Wittig.

Hurler and Wittig will remain with the company after the deal closes.

Foot Locker was advised by Guggenheim Partners and Barclays, while Runners Point worked with Deloitte, a source said.