Investors were rewarding shares of Foot Locker ( FL) Tuesday, after the company said it plans to buy 350 Footaction footwear and apparel stores for $160 million cash. Foot Locker will buy the stores from Footstar, Inc., which filed for bankruptcy protection on March 2. The deal faces a bankruptcy court approval hearing on April 21, the company said. The deal is expected to close in the second quarter of fiscal 2004. Shares of the company were up $1.52, or 6%, to $26.89. The stock hit a 52-week high of $27.43 on March 2. "It is expected that the proposed acquisition will be accretive to Foot Locker, Inc.'s diluted earnings per share within the first full year of operation," Foot Locker said in a statement. "We anticipate offering employment to substantially all of the Footaction store associates." New York-based Foot Locker
had said in late March that it was ready to expand its business both domestically and internationally either via acquisitions or by opening new Foot Locker stores. Foot Locker operates 3,600 retail stores in 16 countries in North America, Europe and Australia through its Foot Locker, Lady Foot Locker, Kids Foot Locker and Champs Sports retail stores.