ANTA + Amer: A group consisting of China’s publicly traded ANTA Sports Group, an affiliate of FountainVest Partners, Lululemon founder Chip Wilson and Tencent will commence a 4.6 billion euro ($5.25 billion) offer for Amer Sports, the parent of the Salomon, Arc’teryx, Peak Performance, Atomic, Mavic, Suunto, Wilson and Precor brands on Dec. 20.
Upon completion of the tender offer, Amer Sports would operate independently from ANTA with a separate board. The ANTA brand was founded in 1991 and its parent company, which today also distributes the Fila and Descente brands in China among others, became a publicly traded company on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange in 2007.
Also in the news:
• Adidas partnered with Snapchat for the launch of the Ultraboost 19, allowing users anywhere in the U.S. to “try on” the performance running shoe using AR technology. The Snap lens was shared with consumers via AirDrop in select locations in New York, Los Angeles and Houston last week.
• Under Armour detailed a five-year growth plan last week during its annual investor meeting. Fueled by international (+17-19 %) and DTC, Under Armour intends to return to a low double-digit growth rate by 2023 with a low double-digit annual operating margin (vs. approximately 3 percent in FY18) and gross margin of at least 48.0 percent. The home North American market is forecast to grow 1-3 percent.
The brand’s largest North American category is training and its biggest market opportunities are said to be in footwear and women’s. Under Amour saw its percentage of retail sales in the athletic specialty/sporting goods channel decline to 32 percent in FY17 from 36 percent in FY14, with Dick’s accounting for much of the drop.
Under Armour is improving margins by lowering its SKU base by approximately 40 percent and reducing its number of vendor partners by 30 percent. The brand is in the midst of lowering its reliance on China, to 7 percent of all units in 2023 versus 18 percent in FY18, while increasing its sourcing reliance on Vietnam, Jordan and Indonesia.
• Stadium Goods, the sneaker and streetwear marketplace, is being acquired for an enterprise value of $250 million by U.K.-based global technology platform Farfetch Ltd. that was launched in 2008. Stadium Goods, founded in 2015 by John McPeters and Jed Stiller, has participated in the Farfetch marketplace since April.
• Genesco is terminating its Bass shoe license. CEO and President Bob Dennis says the Bass business never materialized to what it hoped it would become. Separately, GCO has renewed its Dockers footwear license, a reported $70 million annual business.