Jerome Fisher and Vincent Camuto have long had ambitious ideas for expanding Nine West, the women's shoemaker they jointly run. And on Aug. 1, their plans got much more aggressive: Nine West announced an offer of $425 million for the footwear business of Cincinnati's $2.6 billion U.S. Shoe, which owns the Casual Corner retail chain and such brands as Easy Spirit and Evan Picone. U.S. Shoe's board nixed the deal, but Nine West is directly lobbying U.S. Shoe's shareholders. "This is not going away," says Camuto, who co-chairs Nine West with Fisher. Wall Street is betting U.S. Shoe will capitulate: Its shares rose 21/2 points, to just under 23, in the three days after the offer became public.
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