Mergers and Acquisitions

With deals from Weyco Group and DUECO Inc.

Weyco Group to acquire majority stake in foreign licensees

Milwaukee-based shoe designer Weyco Group Inc. has agreed to pay $10 million for a majority stake in licensees of several of its brands in Australia, Asia Pacific and South America, including Florsheim, Stacy Adams and Nunn Bush shoes.

Weyco created a subsidiary to buy assets and some liabilities of the Florsheim business from Figgins Holdings Pty Ltd., the former Australia licensee. It will also buy stock of Florsheim South Africa Pty Ltd. and Florsheim Asia Pacific Ltd. the other licensees.

David Venner, former chief financial officer of Figgins Holdings, will become president of the subsidiary, named Florsheim Australia.

"This is an exciting time for us," said Tom Florsheim Jr., Weyco’s chairman and CEO. "Over the years Florsheim has built a significant brand presence throughout these markets and the acquisition provides the opportunity to further develop this business and present a more unified brand image worldwide. We are also very pleased that David Venner will be joining our team. David brings a strong financial and operating knowledge of the Florsheim business in the Australian, Asia Pacific and South African markets."

Waukesha-based truck manufacturer acquires New York hybrid supplier

DUECO Inc., a Waukesha-based manufacturer of medium and heavy duty trucks for the utility and contracting market, recently purchased the assets of Odyne Corp., a Hauppauge, N.Y.-based clean technology company that specializes in propulsion systems for hybrid trucks and buses.

Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed. However, the New York company has been closed, and all production will be shifted to DUECO’s Waukesha headquarters, a spokeswoman told BizTimes Milwaukee. DUECO will incorporate Odyne’s name, website, intellectual property, software and systems over the next several months.

In mid 2008, DUECO began building hybrid trucks, to be used by utilities and contractors. Odyne was a supplier of key pieces of the hybrid technology and the acquisition will allow DUECO to expand its hybrid production.

“This acquisition strategically expands our ability to provide our customers with state of the art plug-in hybrid technology,” said Joe Dalum, executive vice president of DUECO. “DUECO has been a leader in providing plug-in hybrid medium and heavy duty trucks to the utility industry in this time of increased focus on improving our environment and reducing our nation’s dependence on foreign oil. The synergies created by this acquisition will allow us to accelerate market development and deployment of proprietary new hybrid technology for segments of the truck market with strong demand for cleaner, more efficient vehicles.”

DUECO will contract with several former Odyne employees over the next several months to train its workforce on the software and technologies that were acquired. After that time, the company will evaluate if it needs additional employees, the spokeswoman said.

To read a previous BizTimes story about DUECO’s hybrid vehicles, click here.


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