Crocs, Blackstone deal final; board changes

NIWOT – Crocs Inc. and investment and advisory firm Blackstone closed Monday the deal for Blackstone to purchase $200 million of Crocs’ newly issued series A convertible preferred stock, taking a 13 percent ownership in the Niwot-based shoemaker (Nasdaq: CROX).

In connection with the closing of the transaction, Stephen Cannon and Jeffrey Margolis resigned from Crocs’ eight-person board of directors, making way for Prakash Melwani and Gregg Ribatt, both Blackstone (NYSE:BX) nominees.

Melwani is a senior managing director at Blackstone and chief investment officer of the firm’s Private Equity Group. Ribatt most recently served as the president and chief executive of Collective Brands Performance + Lifestyle Group.

Thomas J. Smach, Crocs’ chairman, said the board will turn its attention to recruiting a new CEO and moving forward with refining the strategic direction of the Crocs business. Crocs’ CEO John McCarvel is retiring.

Although Blackstone’s investment will represent approximately 13 percent ownership in the company, Smach said the company, shareholders and employees will benefit from 100 percent of Blackstone’s focus, global resources, and expertise.

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