On Thursday, August 12, 2021, Adidas announced that it has reached a compromise in an ongoing deal with retail conglomerate Authentic Brands Group (ABG) regarding the acquisition of Reebok for roughly 2.1 billion dollars.
With the acquisition expected to close in the first quarter of 2022, Reebok is poised to become the latest brand snatched up by ABG, joining the ranks of Forever 21, Brooks Brothers, Sports Illustrated, and IZOD, among others.
Jamie Salter, CEO of ABG, spoke publicly regarding his excitement around acquiring the former CrossFit Games sponsor:
“We’ve had our sights set on Reebok for many years, and we’re excited to finally bring this iconic brand into the fold. We look forward to working with the Reebok team to continue their great work and further its position as one of the world’s leading consumer brands.”
Salter also expressed that ABG will maintain some level of brick-and-mortar presence for Reebok in the future.
Reebok’s Rocky Road
In the years since Adidas originally acquired Reebok in 2006 in an attempt to remain competitive against industry giant Nike, Adidas has experienced its own growth in the fitness apparel space, prompting a years-long inclination to offload Reebok.
Although 2020 saw a decline in sales for nearly every apparel company, Reebok has experienced a downward trend — nearly $600 million from 2006 to 2020 — in sales revenue, while Adidas and especially Nike have seen progressive gains.
Adidas Purchase vs. Sale of Reebok
- Purchase (2006) — 3.8B (US dollars)
- Sale (2022) — 2.5B (US dollars)
- Potential Drop in Acquisition Value — 1.3B (US dollars)
In 2020, Reebok’s decade-long partnership with CrossFit came to an end. Despite no longer being an official sponsor of CrossFit, Reebok retains a strong entrenchment in the strength sports community, backing star athletes like Brent Fikowski, Patrick Vellner, and Annie Thorisdottir, along with weightlifters like CJ Cummings. Reebok’s line of weightlifting shoes and cross-trainers have maintained prominence and commercial success as well.
For fans of the brand, Reebok’s acquisition by ABG brings a tide of uncertainty regarding the company’s direction and product offerings. Should Adidas and ABG close on their deal next spring, new oversight may reshape Reebok’s identity and presence in the industry to a significant degree.
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