The eco brief. Adidas to separate from Reebok, its American subsidiary

Two Adidas and Reebok sneakers. Illustrative photo. (EDDY RISCH / KEYSTONE)

German sports equipment supplier Adidas bought Reebok in 2006 for just over three billion euros but the transplant never really took. The Reebok brand had its heyday and in particular allowed Adidas to become official supplier to the NBA, the most prestigious basketball championship in the world. Reebok will also be ultra technical basketball shoes in the 2010s.

The acquisition of Reebok aimed to dethrone the great competitor Nike, but the Bavarian group never succeeded in spite of certain prestigious partnerships, including that with the creator Victoria Beckham. The adventure slowly disintegrated until the pandemic which dealt it the final blow. Sales in the second quarter of 2020 fell 40%. Reebok is now worth only 800 million euros.

No precise date has been put forward for the sale but the American subsidiary will no longer appear in the scope of the Adidas group from the financial results of the first quarter of this year.

The American group VF Corp, which owns the brands The North Face and Timberland in particular, is considered a potential buyer. Asians too, not to mention investment funds that might be interested, but more to turn it into a cash machine than out of a real love of sport.

As for Adidas’ projects, the resale of Reebok will allow it to refocus on its own brand, the famous three-stripe logo. The equipment manufacturer will present its new strategic directions on March 10 at a press conference. It will very probably strengthen its internet sales which already provide it with four billion euros in turnover. He will also opt for the manufacture of shoes and eco-compatible and sustainable products. Adidas intends to regain color and establish itself as the leader of the world sports market.

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