The Finland based Amer Sports group, which owns brands including Armada, Salomon, Atomic, and Arcteryx has confirmed with multiple news sources that they have been approached regarding a $5.3 billion all-cash takeover by a Chinese group including one of the country’s largest sportswear brands Anta and the private equity firm FountainVest.
Such deals are always complicated, but here’s what we know:
1) This is not a done deal yet
2) However it appears likely, at least on the face of it, that the deal will be done
3) The proposed acquisition appears to be motivated, at least in part, by the Chinese group seeking to capitalize on the hype surrounding the growing Chinese winter sports scene especially in the lead up to the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics.
According to Reuters, the head of an association that is the second largest shareholder in Amer said the association is open to the proposition, but needs to evaluate. The association head gave a quote that is a reminder of the cold corporate attitude that can change the face of ski companies on a whim saying “Of course, if the price is right, everything is for sale.” A Danske Bank portfolio manager also told Reuters that the deal is “by no means underpriced,” and “makes sense, at least on paper.” There is certainly a sense from those looking at this in detail that a sale seems likely.
The skiing world has seen many a corporate handoff over the years by various entities - K2 Sports is a prime example. These business deals often have few downstream effects on the skis we ride and even rarely change things for day to day operations of the ski companies involved. Perhaps the more interesting aspect of this potential deal is that the bid coming from China, who have one of the world’s largest emerging ski scenes. For a great look at the budding park scene in China, check out Twig’s trip report from 2016.