Adidas Considering Reebok Sale: Sources

Reebok might be coming to the end of the line at Adidas.

U.S.-based banking and private equity sources have been buzzing that the off-rumored divestiture could be coming sooner rather than later, with Adidas said to be mulling options and potentially laying out its intentions at its investor day in March.

Shares of Adidas rose 1.9 percent to 280 euros in Frankfurt Thursday on multiple reports that the German footwear giant was exploring the possibility of a sale. A spokeswoman for Adidas declined to comment.

The sale would be a big one, even though Reebok’s star has waned since Adidas bought the company for 2006 in a 3.1 billion euro deal. 

Reebok’s sales rose 3.6 percent to 1.75 billion euros last year, but were down 27.3 percent to 600 million euros in the first half of this year as the coronavirus shut down retail, particularly hard in the U.S. and Europe. 

That pandemic decline was in line with the drop at the larger Adidas brand, which fell 26.9 percent to 7.56 billion euros in the first half, but the competition is fierce in the sneaker space. Nike Inc.’s revenues over the past two quarters combined were hit as well, falling 19 percent, but were larger at $16.9 billion.

Even so, now could be the right time for Adidas to sell. Companies of all sizes are looking at what they’re best at and which businesses have the most potential and cutting away the rest. 

And a flood of money to support markets has many buyers with money in hand looking to pick up assets on the cheap. In addition to potential private equity buyers, there are plenty of blank-check companies — essentially management teams with money looking to do a deal — out knocking on doors.

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