Amer Sports confirmed that the company received an indication of interest in an all-cash buyout from a consortium consisting of Chinese sports shoe company Anta and FountainVest Partners, a Hong Kong private equity group.
The Helsinki-based company owns Salomon, Arc’teryx, Peak Performance, Atomic, Mavic, Suunto, Wilson and Precor and has a market value of about €3.4 billion ($3.9 bn).
In a statement, Amer said that its shareholders would be entitled to a cash consideration of €40 per share if the deal came off and shares of Amer jumped by more than 25 percent in late-afternoon trading in Europe to €36. The offer values Amer Sports at more than €4.6 billion ($5.3 bn).
Amer said the non-binding and preliminary offer was dependent on a numerous conditions including financing, recommendation from its board of directors and approval from at least 90 per cent of its shareholders.
“At this time, Amer Sports is not engaged in any negotiations with the Consortium and has made no decisions in respect of the Indication of Interest,” Amer Sports said. “Amer Sports will release further information at an appropriate time if an agreement is reached with the Consortium in respect of a transaction or any negotiations are terminated or abandoned.”
The Chinese consortium aims to submit an offer to Amer in the coming weeks and finalize the buyout deal by the end of the year, a source familiar with the matter told Reuters.
Anta, China’s largest sportswear brand and the third largest in the world by market capitalization, sells the Fila and Descente brands in China as well as its own home-grown Anta brand. Anta has a market value of $12.5 billion.
The company has indicated that it plans to enter the European market as soon as 2019 and has explored bringing the Anta brand to the U.S. In June 2017, Klay Thompson of the Golden State Warriors signed a 10-year shoe deal with Anta.
Beijing will alsoplay host to the Winter Olympics in 2022, providing a springboard for sales of skis and snowboards, while the 2020 Summer Games is being held in Tokyo.
Amer’s portfolio of ski brands “perfectly complements Descente,” UOB Kay Hian analyst Robin Yuen said in a note sent to Bloomberg, adding that the approach “is good timing to capture the hype of winter sports” ahead of the Beijing games.
On September 6 at its Capital Markets Day, Amer Sports said has decided to place the underperforming Mavic cycling business under strategic review as part of an update on the company’s business strategy. Amer Sports also said it planned to assess strategic options for its Fitness and Sports Instruments businesses, including standalone opportunities, as they grow toward their target scale. Those businesses include Suunto and Precor.
At the same time, Amer Sports said that going forward, the company will further drive transformation towards areas of faster growth, higher profitability and better asset efficiency, first through the integration of the acquired Peak Performance business. Amer Sports completed the acquisition of the Swedish sports fashion brand Peak Performance in June 2018.
Amer Sports over the last few years has been prioritizing growth in five areas: apparel and footwear, direct-to-consumer, China, U.S. and digitalization.
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