A group of investors from Hong Kong and Abu Dhabi plan to offer about 1.7 billion euros ($2.2 billion) to buy Reebok from Adidas AG, which acquired the company eight years ago but has since lost market share to Nike Inc.
Jynwel Capital, the investment vehicle of the billionaire Low family of Asia, and funds affiliated with the government of Abu Dhabi plan to send a letter to Adidas directors with the offer, the Wall Street Journal reported Sunday. The two investment groups are expected to argue that Reebok would operate better independently.
Representatives for Adidas and Jynwel Capital declined to comment on the speculation, according to Bloomberg.
The Germany-based shoe maker bought Reebok in 2006 for about $3.8 billion, with the intention of creating a sports apparel and footwear company that would rival Oregon-based Nike. Adidas had hoped to gain share in the U.S., which makes up about 40 percent of the global sneaker market, and where its sales are a fraction of Nike's. Adidas, the world’s second-largest sportswear maker behind Nike, has struggled this year as its stock price has fallen more than 40 percent, prompting some shareholders to push for change including at the executive level.
In 2005, Adidas owned 10 percent of the U.S. footwear market while Reebok owned about 8 percent. Nike dominated with 35 percent, according to market researcher SportsOneSource. But since the deal, Adidas’ share of that market has fallen to 6 percent, while Reebok’s is down to 1.8 percent. Meanwhile, Nike’s share has surged to about 60 percent, according to the report.