Authentic Brands Group (ABG), a global brand development, marketing and entertainment company, and Aditya Birla Fashion and Retail Limited (ABFRL), India’s leading fashion company, announced the signing of a long-term licensing agreement, which grants ABFRL exclusive rights to distribute and sell Reebok products through wholesale, e-commerce and Reebok branded retail stores in India and other Asean countries.
This deal marks a foray for ABFRL into India’s fast-growing sports and activewear segment. Over the last few years, this segment has been growing rapidly on the heels of rising income levels, increased health consciousness and the adoption of active lifestyles by young Indians. This segment is expected to grow to $13 bn by FY24 at an annual growth rate of ~14 percent. The transaction marks a significant milestone in the journey of ABFRL, which has evolved its portfolio into a powerhouse of brands across all major fashion and lifestyle segments over the last several years. The addition of Reebok, a marquee global sports and activewear brand will fill an important white space in ABFRL’s portfolio.
Commenting on the transaction, Ashish Dikshit, Managing Director, ABFRL said, “As Indians get more active, athletic and health focussed, their consumption of apparel and accessories is expected to increasingly change in line with these trends, providing an opportunity to build iconic brands of global repute. Reebok is one of the leading brands in the sporting goods industry globally and has built a very strong presence in the Indian market over the last two decades. In partnership with ABG, we plan to accelerate Reebok’s business in India, combining its global appeal and salience amongst Indian youth. This transaction further strengthens the ABFRL portfolio and increases our ability to engage with consumers across various need spaces.”
This partnership helps further ABG’s global Reebok strategy of assembling a network of core operating partners around the world who are committed to driving innovation and growth while upholding the brand’s integrity and values. ABFRL will partner with Reebok Design Group (RDG), the newly-established global brand hub based in Boston, on all product design, development, innovation and creative direction to drive a unified brand voice and vision.
Corey Salter, Chief Operating Officer, ABG added, “ABFRL is a champion of the fashion industry in India with proven expertise in building and operating large-scale lifestyle brands across the region. We are very pleased to expand our existing partnership with ABFRL, which includes Forever 21 and other ABG brands, and are confident that ABFRL will be successful in solidifying Reebok’s position with a growing audience of fans in India and Southeast Asia.”
The proposed transaction is subject to the successful completion of due diligence, necessary statutory approvals and signing of definitive agreements. The transfer of ownership of the Reebok brand from adidas to ABG is expected to close in Q1 of 2022.