(Recasts first paragraph, updates stock price)
NEW YORK Aug 27 Sports apparel maker
Quiksilver Inc ZQK.N said on Wednesday it agreed to sell its
Rossignol business to a group led by Rossignol's former CEO for
100 million euros ($147 million), sending its shares up
as much as 15 percent.
Chartreuse & Mont Blanc, headed by former Rossignol Chief
Executive Bruno Cercley, bid on the unit, which includes the
Rossignol, Dynastar, Look, and Lange brands of winter sports
equipment and apparel.
Quiksilver paid $560.8 million for Rossignol three years
ago, but Wall Street remained skeptical the lower-margin hard
goods brand would be a good fit with the apparel and footwear
Quiksilver was known for.
The Huntington Beach, California, company put the unit up
for sale this year after a bad ski season and weakening economy
hurt sales, as merchants sold through existing inventory
instead of ordering new merchandise.
The sale allows the company to "rid itself of a negative
margin business" and focus on its core apparel and footwear
lines like Quiksilver, Roxy and DC Shoes, Citigroup analyst
Kate McShane wrote in an analyst note.
Quiksilver expects the transaction to close in fall 2008
and said it plans to use sale proceeds to pay down debt.
Chartreuse & Mont Blanc is majority owned by Macquarie
Group (MQG.AX) and has a non-voting minority interest by Jarden
Shares of Quiksilver were up $1.07, or 13.8 percent, at
$8.83 in afternoon trade on the New York Stock Exchange.
(1 euro = $1.47)
(Reporting by Sarah Coffey; editing by Gunna Dickson and Steve