Chinese group agrees to buy Amer Sports in $5.2B deal
TOKYO A Chinese investor group led by Anta Sports Products Ltd. agreed to buy Amer Sports Oyj, the Finnish athletic-gear maker whose brands include Wilson tennis rackets, for about 4.6 billion euros (US$5.2 billion).
The consortium, which includes Chinese buyout firm FountainVest Partners, will offer shareholders a cash consideration of 40 euros a share, it said in a statement Friday.
The price represents a 14 per cent premium over the Finnish company’s closing stock price on Wednesday, and is almost double Amer’s valuation a year ago.
Significant minority investors in the consortium also include Chip Wilson, the billionaire founder of yoga-apparel retailer Lululemon Athletica Inc., and Chinese internet giant Tencent Holdings Ltd.
The consortium on Thursday signed a 2.2 billion-euro, five-year loan to partly back the acquisition, people familiar with the matter told Bloomberg News.
Anta said in September it had teamed up with FountainVest to make an indicative offer for Amer at 40 euros a share. That news sent Amer stock soaring 19 per cent, its biggest one-day jump ever.
Anta, China’s biggest athletic-apparel producer, has been working to increase its business overseas and is seeking acquisitions of well-established global brands.
The Chinese government is pushing to expand in sports ranging from soccer to skiing, as well as the industries that supply equipment for competitors and weekend enthusiasts.
Amer’s portfolio of well-known brands, including Salomon ski boots, is an attractive prospect for Anta ahead of coming Olympic Games in Asia. Beijing will host the Winter Olympics in 2022, providing a springboard for sales of skis and snowboards, while the 2020 Summer Games in Tokyo will offer a showcase for other Amer brands.
The Finnish company also sells Louisville Slugger baseball bats, Arc’teryx outdoor gear and Atomic winter equipment. Its shares were halted Friday pending the announcement.
Lululemon Athletica Inc. founder Chip Wilson is among the significant minority stakeholders in the consortium taking over Amer Sports.