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Boot Barn Saddles Up With Sheplers

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In a strategic plan to strengthen its omnichannel business, western and work-related footwear and apparel retailer Boot Barn announced Monday it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Shelpers, a 116-year old western lifestyle company, for $147 million in cash. The deal is expected to close by the end of the month.

Boot Barn, which operates 200 stores in 29 states, and Sheplers, which has developed its direct-to-consumer catalog business into an online model, share a similar western lifestyle focus, customer base and store experience. The acquisition is expected to generate $6 million-$8 million of annual synergies and be immediately accretive to earnings, excluding estimated one-time transaction and integration expenses of $14 million, and approximately 10 percent accretive post integration, which is expected to be completed in calendar year 2016.

Margin synergies are expected to be achieved through scale purchasing, increased private brands penetration and vendor direct and container-load sourcing. Cost savings are expected from consolidation of select corporate functions and efficiencies in e-commerce distribution.

Boot Barn CEO Jim Conroy said, “The acquisition of Sheplers enhances Boot Barn’s position as the largest, fastest-growing western and work chain in the United States and creates the leading omnichannel business in the industry. We have great respect for Bob Myers and his management team and the focus they have had on building the retail and e-commerce businesses.”

He added, “Sheplers’ commitment to the industry and to superb customer service aligns well with Boot Barn’s philosophy of providing excellent customer service and offering a wide selection of merchandise. I would also like to acknowledge the ongoing efforts of the entire Boot Barn team as we continue to grow our business organically while looking forward to integrating the Sheplers business.”

The acquisition will grow Boot Barn’s e-commerce penetration from 4 percent to 15 percent, based on the 12 months ending March 28. Shlepers’ e-commerce platform provides opportunities to create a dual brand online offering, leveraging Shelpers’ domestic and international custom traffic. Combined, Boot Barn expects to access a database of more than five million customers.

Additionally, the company will re-brand the Sheplers stores to the Boot Barn banner, expanding its store footprint by adding eight new retail markets and build its position in Texas and Colorado.

In a statement, Sheplers CEO Bob Myers, said, “Our ability to grow the largest online business in the industry started with building upon our loyal customer base from our long-standing catalog format. Joining the Boot Barn family will allow Sheplers to provide value to a larger customer base through both in-store and online channels and provide more opportunities for many of our associates both in the field and in our corporate office.”

For the 12 months ended March 28, Sheplers had net sales of approximately $157 million, which included $66 million of e-commerce sales, and Adjusted EBITDA of $14.9 million.

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