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Authentic Brands Group make a play for Reebok

Lauretta Roberts
19 May 2021

Authentic Brands Group, parent of Forever 21, is reported to have made a $1bn offer for Adidas-owned Reebok.

Adidas paid almost $4bn for Reebok in 2006 and confirmed recently that it was planning to offload the British founded, US-based brand as it struggled amid the pandemic with sales falling by 19% to €1.4bn.

The German sports giant originally bought Reebok in a bid to fight its largest rival Nike on its home turf but its own brand proved more than a success in its own right (partly thanks to high profile collaborations with the likes of Pharrell Williams) and speculation had been mounting for some time that Reebok would be offload before it was confirmed by Adidas CEO Kasper Rorsted in February.

Reebok and Adidas will be able to significantly better realise their growth potential independently of each other.

“We will work diligently in the coming months to ensure a successful future for the Reebok brand and the team behind it,” Rorsted said at the time.

Others said to be in the frame to make a bid for Reebok include Anta Sports and Fila.

Reebok was founded in in Bolton in 1958 (early designs carried the Union Flag on them) and the brand shot to prominence in the 1980s, having secured a US distributor, with its Freestyle aerobics shoe for women.

Its headquarters are now in Boston, Massachusetts with regional offices around the world. Reebok lost €150m (£134m) in 2016 but returned to profitability in 2018. Prior to the pandemic Adidas had sought to sell the brand and was hoping to achieve a €2bn price for it but it is now expected to fetch a price of around $1.2bn.

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