adidas has confirmed that it is looking to offload Reebok after 15 years of ownership. The confirmation follows rumors regarding a sale that stem from last October.
Reebok was acquired by adidas in 2006 for $3.8bn but is expected to be sold for less than half that. According to Business of Fashion, adidas CEO Kasper Rorsted was seeking around $2.4 billion for Reebok before the pandemic, which will likely have had an adverse effect on the brand’s valuation.
Reebok has struggled during the pandemic, with revenue down 22 percent year-on-year through the first nine months of 2020. adidas has similarly struggled, with revenue over the same period down 20 percent year-on-year.
“The long-term growth opportunities in our industry are highly attractive, particularly for iconic sports brands,” said Rørsted. “After careful consideration, we have come to the conclusion that Reebok and Adidas will be able to significantly better realize 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.”
There are several prospective buyers lined up that have shown concrete interest in buying Reebok. Among those is the Authentic Brands Group, which recently acquired Brooks Brothers and Barneys New York.
ABG's CEO Jamie Salter has made his interest in the American footwear and clothing company well known, while ABG partner and former Reebok athlete Shaquille O’Neal has previously said he would love to buy the brand. Other buyers include Chinese sportswear company Anta, and VF Corp, who also own Supreme.
Previously, it was still considered an option that adidas would keep ownership of Reebok, though yesterday’s official confirmation changes that. Who to and when exactly Reebok is sold remains to be seen, however, adidas will look to move on from Reebok sooner rather than later, in a bid to recover from the pandemic itself.
adidas will share more detailed plans concerning the future of Reebok when the company shares its new strategy presentation to investors on March 10, 2021.