Crocs mulls going private, talks to Blackstone, KKR, others UPDATED

The company has already held talks with a small group of private equity firms, including Blackstone Group LP and KKR & Co LP, the people said, asking not to be identified because the discussions are confidential.

Some of the investment firms, however, have already lost interest in a leveraged buyout because they do not consider a deal to be financially attractive, the people added.

Representatives for Crocs, Moelis, Blackstone and KKR declined to comment.

Crocs shares rallied after Bloomberg News first reported on the talks and were up 9.5 percent at $13.85 in afternoon trade on Nov 13 on the Nasdaq.

Established in 2002, Crocs sells its shoes, made out of a proprietary closed-cell resin it calls Croslite and offered in more than 300 four-season footwear styles, in some 125 countries, according to its website.

Crocs posted a 2 percent decline in sales for the third quarter, hurt by weakness in the Americas and Japan. The company said sales were dragged down by a drop in discretionary spending on footwear, apparel and other consumer goods in the U.S.

“I wish I could tell you we were expecting a big improvement in consumer confidence in the U.S. throughout the year, but we are not,” Crocs Chief Executive John McCarvel told analysts on the company’s earnings call last month.

Greg Roumeliotis is a reporter for Reuters News in New York

(Updates to add that company has hired Moelis & Co, other details)