SANTA FE SPRINGS, Cali.–May 18, 2000–Vans, Inc. (NASDAQ: VANS) today announced that the Company will accelerate its purchase of the last 10% tranche of shares of Global Accessories Limited, the Company’s exclusive distributor for the United Kingdom.
In November 1996, Vans acquired 51% of the outstanding shares of Global Accessories in the first phase of an “earn out” stock-for-stock transaction. As of the end of the second quarter of fiscal 2000, Vans had purchased an additional 29% of the Global common shares. The Company will acquire the remaining 20% of Global, effective October 2, 2000, allowing Global to be more fully integrated into Vans’ European operations.
“The completion of this acquisition represents our continued consolidation of our European operations and another positive step in our ongoing effort to further our position overseas,” said Gary H. Schoenfeld, President and Chief Executive Officer. “Accelerating the last 10% tranche will allow us to achieve greater operating efficiencies as well as open additional stores in the U.K., where the three VANS stores currently open are among our top performing stores per square foot.”
Mr. Schoenfeld added, “Looking towards this next fiscal year, we continue to be very enthusiastic as first quarter bookings in the U.S. have accelerated to more than 30% ahead of last year. We believe this growth further demonstrates the leadership position of our brand and the growing influence of Core Sports(TM) on the lifestyle and purchase decisions of this generation.”(a) Vans, Inc. is a leading branded lifestyle company for the youth market. Vans reaches its 10 to 24 year-old target consumers through the sponsorship of Core Sports,(TM) such as skateboarding, snowboarding, surfing and wakeboarding, and through major entertainment events and venues, such as the VANS Triple Crown(TM) Series, the VANS Warped Tour,(TM) the VANS World Amateur Skateboarding Championships, the world’s largest VANS skateparks, and the VANS High Cascade Snowboard Camp,(TM) located on Mt. Hood. The Company operates 130 retail stores in the U.S. and Europe, and designs, markets and distributes active-casual footwear, clothing and accessories, performance footwear for Core Sports, (TM) snowboard boots, step-in snowboard boot bindings, and outerwear worldwide. Vans’ Internet address is www.vans.com.