Adidas 'plans to sell' struggling Reebok business

German sportswear company Adidas is planning to sell its Reebok division, according to local media reports on Thursday.

FRANKFURT • German sportswear company Adidas plans to sell its Reebok division, Germany's Manager Magazin has reported, as the group seeks to put an end to its ill-fated investment in the US-focused brand.

Adidas chief executive Kasper Rorsted plans to complete the sale by March next year, the magazine said, without citing where it obtained the information.

Manager Magazin on Thursday said US apparel maker VF Corp and China's Anta Sports were among the interested parties, without citing sources.

Adidas declined to comment.

VF Corp did not immediately respond to a request for comment, while Anta Sports could not be reached for comment outside office hours in China.

Shares in Adidas jumped as much as 3.5 per cent on the report, reflecting hopes for a sale following repeated calls to dispose of Reebok from investors who criticised a lack of progress in turning around the business.

The German company bought Boston-based Reebok for US$3.8 billion (S$5.2 billion) in 2005 under Mr Rorsted's predecessor Herbert Hainer, with the aim of taking on United States arch rival Nike on its home turf.

Last year, however, Adidas wrote down Reebok's book value by nearly half compared with 2018, to €842 million (S$1.35 billion). The unit's sales fell 44 per cent in the second quarter of this year to €228 million, leading to its parent taking impairment charges in the period.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 24, 2020, with the headline 'Adidas 'plans to sell' struggling Reebok business'. Print Edition | Subscribe