msnbc.com news services
updated 11/14/2006 9:42:51 AM ET 2006-11-14T14:42:51

Bootmaker Timberland Co. is exploring a plan to sell itself, the Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday, citing people familiar with the matter.

The company, valued at nearly $2 billion, has hired Goldman Sachs Group to help run the process, the Journal reported. Stratham, New Hampshire-based Timberland could not immediately be reached for comment.

Timberland is best known for its rugged and fashionable waterproof boots and outdoor wear the Journal said. Its products became popular as U.S. fashion moved toward more casual clothing, avidly adopted by the hip-hop community, but fashion has shifted recently toward more formal attire, catching the company somewhat off guard.

Any deal would need the approval of the Swartz family, which founded the company. Timberland has two classes of shares, and the Swartz family controls all of the Class B shares, giving them about 70 percent of voting power.

The firm, whose products became icons to a generation of hip-hop music fans and dayhikers alike, has been reaching out to potential buyers in recent weeks, the paper said, adding that a definitive transaction is still quite some time away.

Reuters contributed to this report.

Discuss:

Discussion comments

,

Most active discussions

  1. votes comments
  2. votes comments
  3. votes comments
  4. votes comments

Data: Latest rates in the US

Home equity rates View rates in your area
Home equity type Today +/- Chart
$30K HELOC FICO 2.48%
$30K home equity loan FICO 5.80%
$75K home equity loan FICO 4.54%
Credit card rates View more rates
Card type Today +/- Last Week
Low Interest Cards 13.57%
13.57%
Cash Back Cards 17.91%
17.91%
Rewards Cards 17.15%
17.15%
Source: Bankrate.com