Who’s in, who’s out? That is the question that is swirling around potential buyers of the Reebok brand.
As the deadline on August 2 approaches that bids in the second round must be submitted, there is speculation as to who can buy the sports brand from Adidas, its German parent company. As reported, at the end of last year, Adidas released the brand for sale, saying it hopes to complete a deal before the end of the year.
One of the frontrunners from the start has been the Authentic Brands Group, the brand management company led by Jamie Salter, who has made most of the high-profile deals in the United States over the past few years, including Barneys New York, Forever 21, Brooks Brothers, Sports Illustrated and Eddie Bauer.
On Friday, there were reports that ABG had bowed, but some observers were skeptical. “It seems very strange,” said a source. “ABG does not fall out of anything if they really want something.”
Salter has made no secret of his interest in Reebok, as his company controls the intellectual property rights of Shaquille O’Neal, who was an ambassador for the brand during his play days in the 1990s. ABG could not be reached for comment Friday and is in a quiet period as it has submitted papers to the Securities and Exchange Commission to go public this summer.
Whether ABG will make a bid for Reebok next month remains to be seen, but another name has emerged as a very interested party: WHP Global. The owner of the brands Joseph Abboud, Anne Klein and Toys R Us was created two years ago and is led by Yehuda Shmidman. Since its inception, WHP has received $ 350 million in capital liabilities from funds managed by Oaktree Capital Management. A WHP spokesman declined to comment.
In addition to WHP, a number of private equity firms are also on the shortlist to buy Reebok, according to sources: Advent International, Cerberus Capital Management, CVC Capital Partners and Sycamore Partners.
Adidas bought Reebok for DKK 3.8 billion $ 2006, and the price tag is now expected to be around 2.4 billion. $. In its latest earnings announcement on May 7, Adidas only said that it has incurred costs of 60 million euros related to the planned divestment of Reebok in the first quarter and reports all revenue and expenses for the brand as discontinued operations. However, Harm Ohlmeyer, CFO of Adidas, said that Reebok “experienced a sustainable improvement in business in the first quarter with net sales of double digits backed by a strong order book in 2021.”
Matt O’Toole, president of Reebok, told Headline 4 Ever in May that the sales process is long and Adidas continues to narrow the area for potential buyers, but is still on track to complete the transaction before the end of the year.