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Genesco Gains Footwear Sourcing Strength in Levi’s Distributor Acquisition

Genesco Inc. is expected to ink a new Levi’s U.S. footwear licensing agreement with Levi Strauss & Co. for men, women and children next month, once it closes on a $33.7 million acquisition of Togast LLC.

New York-based Togast LLC has served as a licensed distributor for Levi’s footwear in the U.S. The purchase agreement includes an earnout provision for up to an additional $34 million in cash over the next four years, provided certain financial metrics are met. Genesco is also expected to renew and extend the men’s Dockers footwear license, which is also licensed from Levi’s.

Togast owner Tony LoConte and his team will remain with the operation and join Genesco’s group following the close of the transaction, which is expected in January 2020.

The acquisition gives Genesco the ability to expand revenue sources and grow syngergistic product development and offshore sourcing capabilities that complement the footwear firm’s existing operation through its licensed brands division. Togast offers a portfolio of footwear licenses for the G.H Bass & Co., Adio and Fubu brands, among others.

“The acquisition of Togast adds scale to our successful licensed brands platform….We are also excited to add the Levi’s footwear license to our portfolio and expand upon our long-standing business relationship with Levi Strauss & Co., which dates back to 1991,” Genesco chairman, president and CEO Robert J. Dennis said.

The combined licensed platform will allow Genesco to serve multiple tiers of distribution, Dennis noted, and Genesco will immediately see benefits from Togast’s sourcing capabilities and corresponding synergies, licensed brands president Andy Gilbert added.

“In Genesco, we have found a partner whose capabilities are an outstanding match for our business operations,” LoConte said.

Founded in 1924 as a footwear manufacturer under the name Jarman Shoe Co., the firm changed its name to General Shoe Co. in 1931 and then Genesco in 1959. Though the specialty footwear retailer is no longer a manufacturer, it remains a wholesaler of branded and licensed footwear, according to the company website. Other owned or licensed brands under Genesco’s umbrella include Johnston & Murphy, Journeys and Trask. The Nashville-based firm currently operates more than 1,490 footwear and accessories retail stores across the U.S., Canada, the U.K. and the Republic of Ireland.

MMG Advisors served as the financial advisor for privately held Togast, while Cole Schotz was its legal advisor. Genesco’s financial advisor in the deal was PJ Solomon, and its legal advisor was Bass, Berry & Sims.