Wolverine Worldwide sells US military business
The Big Rapids plant has been used to produce Bates brand military footwear.
Wolverine Worldwide is reported to have sold the assets of its US Department of Defense (DoD) contract business and has transferred outstanding DoD contracts to the Original Footwear company. Original Footwear is based in Tennessee and specialises in products for the Department of Defense under the Altama brand. The company also owns the Original S.W.A.T and Ro-Search brands.
Wolverine Worldwide's Big Rapids, Michigan factory – which is one of the largest producers of footwear for the US military – is included in the sale. Over recent years, the company has invested in the factory, through facility expansion and new machinery. This transfer of ownership will allow the plant to bid for contracts reserved for ‘small’ businesses that are not open to large corporations like Wolverine Worldwide. Original Footwear will supply Wolverine Worldwide with certain products that are currently made in the Big Rapids factory. Wolverine is to retain the Bates brand.
This article was originally published on page 3 of the November 2017 issue of SATRA Bulletin.