Adidas Exploring Sale of Struggling Reebok Brand

    • Adidas could sell off the struggling brand in the coming months.
    • VF Corp., which owns Timberland and North Face, is reportedly interested.

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German sportswear giant Adidas is exploring selling off the Reebok brand in the coming months, according to multiple reports. 

An internal review of the brand “is in the early stages,” Bloomberg reported

According to Germany business magazine Manager Magazin — which didn’t cite its sources — companies interested in the brand include VF Corp, which owns Timberland and North Face, as well as China’s Anta International Group Holdings.

Adidas acquired Reebok for $3.8 billion in 2006. The company was founded in England in 1958 and first came to market in the U.S. in 1979, releasing aerobics, running and basketball shoes early on.

Reebok has long struggled to gain popularity and profitability, even as it pivoted to cater mostly to the fitness market. Its last remaining uniform rights contract with a professional league ended in 2017.

And while Adidas’ sales dropped 33% in its second quarter of 2020 amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Reebok’s fell 42%. Reebok accounted for roughly 8% of Adidas’ total sales in the first half of 2020.

Reebok is the official footwear and apparel sponsor for Ultimate Fighting Championship, CrossFit, and the Spartan Race. CEO Kasper Rorsted has previously expressed hope that new lines like the CrossFit Nano and FloatRide Run would help grow the company after it returned to profitability in 2019 — thanks to both deep sales and cost cuts. 

Prior to the pandemic, Rorsted was looking to sell Reebok for about 2 billion euros  — $2.4 billion — but would now take less than that amount, Manager Magazin reported.