MERGERS AND ACQUISITIONS
Riata Capital Group Announces Closing of WSS Sale to Foot Locker
Riata Capital Group, a Dallas-based private-equity investment firm, has announced the closing of the sale of West Coast–based WSS, a premier specialty retailer of athletic, fashion, and work-related footwear and accessories, to Foot Locker for $750 million in cash subject to customary agreements.
“WSS is a highly complementary addition to our portfolio, and we are excited to officially welcome its team to the Foot Locker family. WSS brings an expanded and differentiated customer base rooted in the rapidly growing Hispanic community, diversifies and enhances our product mix, and strengthens our footprint with a 100 percent off-mall store fleet located in key markets. We look forward to building on WSS’s deep community connections as we accelerate its growth and drive significant additional long-term value for our shareholders,” said Richard A. Johnson, chairman and chief executive officer of Foot Locker.
Since completing the recapitalization of WSS in 2016, Riata contributed to the growth and expansion of WSS by doubling revenue and increasing EBITDA five-fold, successfully entering the Texas market with 14 new stores, driving customer loyalty through community engagement and digital initiatives, and forming strategic partnerships, including a marketing partnership with the Dallas Cowboys.
WSS will maintain its name and operate as a new brand within Foot Locker’s portfolio. Foot Locker said it is committed to developing the WSS team to continue to drive success.
Foot Locker also announced the appointment of Anthony Aversa to the role of chief operating officer for WSS effective immediately. He will report to WSS senior vice president and GM Rick Mina and will oversee the company’s market-planning, real-estate and customer-service functions. Aversa was previously the vice president of customer experience for Foot Locker North America.