A consortium of investors including Anta Sports, Tencent (who made WeChat), a HK-based investment group called FountainVest, and an investment fund run by the founder of Lululemon, have completed the purchase of Amer Sports (the parent company of my employer).
Anta is the #3 sports brand in China, behind Nike and Adidas. Its speculated that the apparel businesses owned by Amer were the attractive parts of the deal, and with a couple of Asia-based Olympics coming up this consortium would be better placed to market and sell these new brands in Asia.
Brands involved include (aside from the Anta brands of Anta, FILA, and a partnership with Descente):
- Wilson, Louisville Slugger, DeMarini, and a handful of others in ball sports
- Enve bicycle wheels and components
- Mavic bicycle wheels, apparel, components
- Peak Performance - which isn't a brand I know well, its a recent acquisition by Amer but I believe is a "more fashionable Arcteryx"
Relevant content: I'd estimate that Amer Sports employs between 100-200 designers in the hardware and interactive disciplines, and much more on the visual/graphic/branding side. I believe Anta has design offices in the Boston area as well.
Perhaps there will be some uncertain times ahead but definitely rich with opportunities for designers around the world. (I'd move to Hong Kong.)
From some investment thing I read:
The Investor Consortium believes that the proposed transaction is underpinned by a very compelling business rationale:
The Investor Consortium intends to invest significant time, resources and effort in helping Amer Sports to accelerate several important ongoing and new strategic initiatives under private ownership, including expanding Amer Sports’ businesses in the Chinese market.
This includes investing capital and resources in product development and human talent on a global basis to provide Amer Sports’ existing management team and employees with the optimal platform from which to implement its medium- to long-term strategic plans, with a view to accelerating Amer Sports’ growth, improving Amer Sports’ competitive positioning in the global market, enhancing Amer Sports’ ability to respond quickly to the demands of a fast-changing marketplace, and optimizing Amer Sports’ products and services offerings to its customers. In doing so, Amer Sports will not only grow into a broader platform for Amer Sports’ employees to thrive on, but will also form stronger, mutually beneficial partnerships with all its stakeholders.
The Investor Consortium intends to provide Amer Sports with access to ANTA Sports’ extensive distribution network, R&D resources and manufacturing and sourcing capabilities in China, such that Amer Sports will have a significant opportunity to accelerate the expansion of its businesses in the Chinese market.