Shortly after closing its $170 million acquisition of K-Swiss, the American company that owns the K-Swiss and Palladium labels, E-Land has appointed a new management that has declared a clear interest in acquiring additional brands that can be “globally relevant.”
Losing no time, K-Swiss has announced the takeover of OTZ, a small brand of environmentally sustainable comfort shoes from Malibu, California, at an undisclosed price. OTZ is currently distributed in 23 countries, but K-Swiss wants to expand its presence rapidly to about 80 countries. K-Swiss will also help OTZ in finance e, IT, customer service, logistics and sourcing.
Positioned somewhere between Birkenstock and Tom's Shoes, the brand takes its name from Oetzi, a prehistoric iceman found in the Alps frozen in 1991, wearing the oldest shoe ever seen.
Reportedly, OTZ has been growing by 300 percent annually since it was created in 2009 by a veteran of the American sneaker sector, Ludo Malmoux, and a partner, Skip Murgatroyd. They will remain involved in the operation along with Bob Rief, a veteran of the American action sports industry, who will remain chief executive of OTZ.
Rief has been president and chief executive of Reef and chief executive of Sanuk, the footwear brand recently acquired by Deckersz Outdoor Corporation.
The OTZ team will report to Larry Remington, who has been appointed by E-Land as president and chief executive of K-Swiss, replacing Steven and David Nichols. Malmoux will continue to hold a minority stake in OTZ.