Chinese investors cleat up to buy the owner of Louisville Slugger

Anta cleats up to buy the Finnish-based Amer Sports, a sporting goods conglomerate that owns classic American sports brands like Louisville Slugger, Wilson, and Salomon.


December 10, 2018

Chinese investors offered to buy Amer Sports, the massive Finnish sports company that owns American sports brand staples Louisville Slugger, Wilson and many others, for more than $5B.

The consortium, led by China’s Anta Sports, has offered $45 per share to acquire the sports company — nearly 14% above the stock’s closing price.

The many lives of Amer

The Finnish-based company was established in 1950 as an industrial conglomerate with a wide array of interests in tobacco trading (it held a 75% market share in Finland at its peak), ship owning, and publishing.

Then, in the ’80s, the company moved into the vehicle import industry and dabbled in the textiles and plastics markets before finally settling into sporting goods in 1986, when it first acquired a majority stake in the golf equipment maker MacGregor Golf from Jack Nicklaus.

Aside from Louisville and Wilson, Amer now owns premiere trail running brand Salomon, outdoor brand Arc’teryx, and the ski brand Atomic.

So why is Anta stepping up to the plate?

According to Bloomberg, Anta (which has a market value of about $12.7B), is uppin’ the ante on its business overseas amid the Chinese government’s push to expand in sports ranging from soccer to skiing.

With brands like Salomon and Atomic, Amer could be an attractive prospect for Anta ahead of the upcoming Olympic Games in Asia.

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