The chief executive of Skechers, Robert Greenberg, said in a statement that his company was still “very interested” in buying Heelys, although the wheeled-shoe company rejected last month a $142.8 million offer, adding that it was not interested in pursuing discussions at this stage. Greenberg indicated that his company may be prepared to make an improved offer if the due diligence process identifies additional value at Heelys. He said he believed that Heelys’ rejection was not in the interest of Heelys shareholders, and that Skechers “will continue to explore all our options.”

Meanwhile Skechers has entered a joint venture with the Onwel Group, a leading fashion company in Hong Kong and Macau, to expand its operations there. The venture, called Skechers Hong Kong, will have its own retail stores. The first of them opened in Hong Kong’s Olympian City 2 mall last Aug. 16. Eight others are set to open over the balance of 2008, followed by another 20 in the next two years.

The company plans wider distribution through a network of wholesale accounts starting with the Spring collection. It expects that it will have 200 new doors in its wholesale business there in the next two years, and that it will triple its sales within three years. Skechers Hong Kong will launch its own marketing campaign, and is opening an office, showroom and warehouse for the new entity, similar to the structure that it has in place in Guangzhou for the market in mainland China (more in Shoe Intelligence).