adidas Keeps Reebok
Large shareholders have said privately that Adidas should at least consider such a transaction after the company warned on profit three times in 2013 and 2014, when some investors urged Mr. Hainer to step down.
Adidas AG’s chief executive said the German sportswear maker won’t sell Reebok as its fitness brand has turned its fortunes around and is set to profit from future trends, according to an interview in German weekly Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung on Sunday. Selling Reebok is «only theoretically possible if at all» because it is so integrated, Herbert Hainer said.
The Wall Street Journal reported in October that a consortium of investors from Hong Kong and Abu Dhabi launched a 1.7 billion euro ($1.9 billion) bid to buy Reebok from Adidas in a move that, if successful, would unwind an eight-year marriage of sneaker makers that has shown disappointing results.
Large shareholders have said privately that Adidas should at least consider such a transaction after the company warned on profit three times in 2013 and 2014, when some investors urged Mr. Hainer to step down.«Everyone knows fitness is the ultimate trend, and Reebok is the right brand. So why should we dispose of it now,» Mr. Hainer told the paper, adding that Reebok is now doing well.Despite Reebok’s return to profitability, Adidas is still struggling in the U.S., where it for the first time dropped to the No. 3 spot among sportswear brands.
Mr. Hainer on Sunday said Adidas is taking each competitor seriously but added, «We have seen a lot of brands that were hip for a short while and then disappeared.»In an interview with the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung daily released ahead of publication on Sunday, Hainer said he had responded to the criticism “like an athlete who is not fit”, by training and coming back stronger.“We are now back in full swing. Adidas and Reebok have made an excellent start to 2015. You will see that in our first quarter figures this week,” he said.
Adidas is expected to report a 14 percent rise in first-quarter net profit when it publishes results on Tuesday. It will hold its annual general meeting on Thursday. Hainer reiterated that he had no intention of selling the Reebok brand Adidas bought in 2006 or the golf business, despite calls from some investors for divestments.
“Everybody knows that fitness is the trend par excellence and Reebok is the right brand for that. Why should we part from it, especially now that it is running well?” he said, adding that golf would also “definitely” remain part of the group. Adidas’s problems last year were compounded by the group’s deep exposure to Russia, where the plunging rouble forced it to scale back new store openings.
Hainer defended a deal this week to extend an outfitting deal with soccer club Bayern Munich until 2030, reportedly for 900 million euros ($1 billion), noting it sells over a million jerseys every season, more than all the other top German sides put together.