The Goleta-based shoemaker extraordinaire Deckers Corporation announced late last week that its already sizable stable of footwear brands is going to grow one stronger. In a deal worth a reported $120 million, Deckers will acquire Orange County’s Sanuk Shoe and Sandal — a popular surf-oriented company that broke on the scene famously in 1997 with offbeat advertising and a sandal made of plush green lawn-esque indoor/outdoor carpet.

Sanuk, which earned more than $43 million in unaudited net sales last year while being carried at more than 1,700 stores worldwide, joins a Deckers family that includes, among others, international footwear heavyweights like Ugg, Teva, and Simple. Moreover, Sanuk beefs up a team that topped more than $1 billion in sales last year and recently reported sales up more than 31 percent through March of this fiscal year.

Also of note, the purchase of Sanuk — which, according to the folks at Deckers, will retain its existing management team — marks a turn of sorts for Deckers back toward the surf universe that it was originally born out of in the 1970s. Originally started by UCSB student and Isla Vista resident Doug Otto as a flip-flop company, then called “Driftwood Dan,” and pitched perfectly at the sandy-toed realities of a saltwater-soaked surfing life, the flip-flops were, as legend has it, embraced by the locals of Hawai’i for their comfort and unusual layered look resembling a pressed skateboard deck.


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