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Authentic Brands Group to acquire Champion

Sophie Smith
03 April 2024

Authentic Brands Group, the owner of Reebok and Quiksilver, is set to purchase Champion from Hanesbrands for just over $1 billion.

No formal agreement has been signed yet, but reports reveal that a deal could be put in writing next week, according to WWD.

Hanesbrands confirmed plans to offload Champion last September, following a slowdown in sales over the past few years.

The brand's global sales dropped by 23% in the fourth quarter of 2023, attributed to both the challenging sportswear apparel market and strategic actions aimed at positioning the business for long-term profitable growth.

Despite declining sales, Champion attracted interest from various potential buyers, including Delta Galil, G-III Apparel, Sycamore Partners, and WHP Global. It was initially seeking at least £1.1 billion ($1.4 billion).

Upon completion, Champion will join Authentic's growing portfolio of fashion brands, including Billabong, Forever 21, Juicy Couture, DC Shoes and Nautica, as well as recently acquired Hunter and Sperry.

However, sources warned WWD that the move could result in thousands of global employees losing their jobs as the intellectual property management company will source much of the manufacturing, design, logistics and operation of the label's various components to other companies.

The sale to Authentic is expected to give Hanesbrands a much-needed boost, having also experienced sales declines. The company saw sales drop by 12% to £1 billion ($1.3 billion) in the fourth quarter. It also ended last year with a net debt of £2.3 billion ($3.1 billion).

The transaction is expected to be finalised by late May or early June.

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