Adidas has found a buyer for Reebok, but at a hefty price: Authentic Brands Group is buying the brand for a billion euros less than Adidas itself paid in 2005.
Reebok will join the flock of Forever 21 and about thirty other brands. The transaction is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2022, earning Adidas some 2.1 billion euros. Other prospective buyers are believed to have been mainly financial players.
Adidas bought the American brand in 2005 for more than three billion euros, but the Germans have never been able to turn it into a success story. Adidas had hoped to stay close on Nike's heels with the takeover, but had to concentrate on its own brand in the first place. Although sales in the United States have doubled in four years, Reebok faded into oblivion: its share of total group sales has halved since the takeover to just 10 %. "Reebok has suffered because we have made Adidas stronger", CEO Kasper Rorsted told Handelsblatt.
Reebok itself is - unsurprisingly - happy with the parting: according to CEO Matt O'Toole, it is rarely a good idea to have two brands competing within the same group. A new five-year plan should now help Reebok shake off its shackles, with the literal title "Reebok unleashed". The plan consists of positioning the trainer brand more within the lifestyle segment and targeting female consumers. The female market share is already 40 %.