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Adidas sells Reebok to Authentic Brands Group for $2.5 billion

Adidas will focus on its own growth, while ABG keeps snapping up brands.
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Courtesy of Authentic Brands Group

· less than 3 min read

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Adidas bought Reebok for $3.8 billion in 2006 to gain some muscle in the fight against Nike. Now, the German sportswear titan is going it alone.

It’s selling Reebok to Authentic Brands Group for ~$2.5 billion in a (mostly) cash deal.

“We’ve had our sights set on Reebok for many years, and we’re excited to finally bring this iconic brand into the fold,” Jamie Salter, founder and CEO of ABG, said in a statement.

  • The licensing giant’s roster of 40+ brands includes Forever 21, Lucky Brand, and Brooks Brothers. The group filed to go public in July.

Dead weight: “Adidas is selling Reebok for far less than it paid for it whichserves to underline the degree to which brand equity has been eroded,” Managing Director of GlobalData Neil Saunders said in a statement.

  • Adidas restored Reebok’s profitability, he noted, but failed to build the brand into something distinct and meaningful to consumers—neither “the go-to brand for sporting professionals nor for those looking for athleisure fashion.”

What’s next? ABG has gotten into the habit of rebuilding and restoring wounded brands. And so far, its track record looks good. Just ask Shaq, who owns shares of ABG. The longtime Reebok partner has been pushing for the sale.—JG

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