Amer Sports, Owned by Anta, Files for IPO

1月 11, 2024

Amer Sports, a Finnish sporting goods group under Anta Group, officially submitted an F-1 filing (the prospectus for non-U.S. companies) to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. They plan to list on the New York Stock Exchange with the stock code “AS”.

The IPO is co-underwritten by Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, J.P. Morgan, Morgan Stanley, Citigroup, and UBS, with over ten other investment banks, including China International Capital Corporation, HSBC, and BNP Paribas, also participating.

In December 2022, Bloomberg reported that Amer Sports’ major shareholder, Anta Sports, and its investor consortium (including private equity firm FountainVest Partners, Anamered Investments, and Tencent) were considering an independent IPO for Amer Sports. By September 2023, Amer Sports had confidentially filed for a U.S. IPO, potentially valuing up to 10 billion USD.

Founded in 1950 and headquartered in Helsinki, Finland, Amer Sports began as an industrial company before transitioning to sports in 1974. It’s now a multinational corporation in sports goods production and marketing, with 11 brands and products sold in over 100 countries, employing over 10,000 people globally.

In December 2018, Anta Sports, along with FountainVest SPV, Anamered Investments, and Tencent SPV, formed a consortium to propose a cash tender offer to acquire all issued shares of Amer Sports, totaling about 4.6 billion Euros. The offer was completed in March 2019, with Anta Sports and other consortium members owning all issued shares of Amer Sports through AS Holding. Post-acquisition, Anta Sports held 58%, with FountainVest SPV and Anamered Investments each holding 21%, and Tencent participating through FountainVest SPV. According to the prospectus, these four remain the only institutional investors with over 5% shares, though the latest shareholding data is not disclosed.

(Notably, Anamered Investments is an investment company founded by Chip Wilson, the founder of the Canadian yoga brand lululemon.)

After acquiring Amer Sports, the consortium delisted it from the Helsinki Stock Exchange. Hence, this prospectus is the first disclosure of the group’s operations since 2018. In this article, will delve into the following four sets of data:

  • Establishing three major departments with 11 brands
  • Three core brands contributing over 90% to revenue; “Five Billion Euro Strategy” possibly achieving three goals two years ahead
  • Revenue from Greater China region accounts for 19% of the group, with nearly 50% coming from Arc’teryx
  • Revenue exceeding 3 billion USD in the first three quarters of 2023, with an annual compound growth rate over 20% post-acquisition

Establishing Three Major Departments with 11 Brands

The transformation of Amer Sports began in 2018, focusing on core brands and streamlining the product portfolio:

  • July 2019: Completed the divestment of French cycling brand Mavic.
  • December 2020: Sold fitness equipment company Precor for 200 million USD to American smart fitness leader Peloton.
  • January 2022: Announced the sale of Finnish diving computer and sports watch brand Suunto to Chinese wearable tech company Liesheng.

Currently, Amer Sports has established three major departments with 11 brands:

1. Technical Apparel: Core brand is the Canadian high-end outdoor equipment brand Arc’Teryx, also including the Swedish fashionable outdoor brand Peak Performance.
2. Outdoor Performance: Core brand is the French mountain outdoor trail brand Salomon, also including Austrian ski equipment brand Atomic, American ski gear manufacturer Armada, American high-end carbon fiber bicycle component brand Enve, etc.
3. Ball & Racquet Sports: Wilson Sporting Goods, including core American tennis equipment brand Wilson, American baseball equipment brands ATEC, Demarini, and Louisville Slugger, and American baseball and softball equipment brand EvoShield.

From the prospectus, we find:

  • Outdoor Performance is the largest contributor to group revenue: 44.6%, 40.3%, and 39.9% in 2020-2022, respectively, and 37.5% in the first three quarters of 2023.
  • Technical Apparel is growing rapidly: a 58.3% increase in the first three quarters of 2023 compared to the same period last year, with Outdoor Performance and Ball & Racquet Sports growing at 26.8% and 9.9%, respectively.

(Unit: Billion USD)

Three Core Brands Contribute Over 90% to Revenue, “Five Billion Euro Strategy” Likely to Achieve Three Goals Two Years Ahead of Schedule

The three core brands (Arc‘Teryx, Salomon, Wilson) increasingly contribute to the group’s revenue, exceeding 90% in the first three quarters of 2023. Arc‘Teryx, in particular, saw a 65.3% increase to 941 million USD during this period, raising its contribution from 22.4% to 30.8%.

Post-acquisition, Anta Sports and the new board of Amer Sports reevaluated the company’s business and set the “Five Billion Euro Strategy” – aiming to make Arc’teryx, Salomon, and Wilson each a “billion-euro” brand by 2025; achieving 1 billion euros in revenue from the Chinese market and direct sales each.

The prospectus suggests that by 2023, Arc’teryx, Salomon, and direct sales models are likely to achieve these billion-euro targets two years ahead of schedule.

(Unit: Billion USD)

Greater China Region Accounts for 19% of Group Revenue, Arc’teryx’s Share Nearly 50% in the Region

Revenue in the Greater China region accounted for 19% of the group’s revenue, with Arc’teryx contributing nearly 50% in this region. According to the prospectus, from 2020 to 2022, Amer Sports’ revenue in Greater China grew from 202 million USD to 524 million USD, a 60.9% annual compound growth rate, increasing the share from 8.3% to 14.8%. In the first three quarters of 2023, revenue in Greater China soared 67.6% to 593 million USD, exceeding the full-year revenue of 2022 in the region, with the share increasing further to 19.4%.

The group states that the operating profit margin in Greater China exceeds the overall group margin. Since 2018, Amer Sports has expanded its capabilities in Greater China, with the number of employees increasing from about 450 to 800 as of September 30, 2023.

Arc’teryx’s rapid growth in China is significant—its revenue in the first three quarters of 2023 increased by 61.8%, contributing 48% to the group’s revenue and making it the undisputed largest market. Moreover, Arc’teryx’s loyalty program in Greater China has over 1.7 million members, compared to just 14,000 in 2018.

Salomon also performed exceptionally well in Greater China: revenue in the first three quarters of 2023 surged 168% to 91 million USD, increasing its contribution to the group from 4.8% in 2022 to 9.6%.

As of September 30, 2023, Amer Sports had 63 Arc’teryx-operated retail stores in Greater China, nearly half of the global total, and 67 Salomon distribution points (including 30 self-operated retail stores and partner stores) in the region, up from 13 in 2019.

Revenue Exceeds $3 Billion in First Three Quarters of 2023, Annual Compound Growth Rate Over 20% Post-Acquisition

In terms of revenue, from 2020 to 2022, Amer Sports’ revenue was 2.446 billion USD, 3.067 billion USD, and 3.549 billion USD, respectively, with an annual compound growth rate of 20.4%. In the first three quarters of 2023, revenue increased 29.9% to 3.053 billion USD compared to the same period in 2022, with a gross margin exceeding 50% at 52.2%.

Regarding profitability, from 2020 to 2022, net losses were 237 million USD, 126 million USD, and 253 million USD, respectively, with adjusted EBITDA at 311 million USD, 417 million USD, and 453 million USD, a 20.6% annual compound growth rate. In the first three quarters of 2023, Amer Sports reported a net loss of 114 million USD, still not profitable, but adjusted EBITDA increased 61.3% from the same period in 2022 to 422 million USD.

| Source:

| Image Credit: Amer Sports official website

丨reporter: Wang Jiaqi

| Editor: LeZhi