Authentic Brands Group (ABG) 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, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal and Sri Lanka.
"As Indians get more active, athletic and health-focused, 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," says Ashish Dikshit, managing director, ABFRL. "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 worldwide. ABFRL will partner with Reebok Design Group, the newly-established global brand hub based in Boston, on product design, development, innovation and creative direction to drive a unified brand voice and vision.
"ABFRL is a champion of the fashion industry in India with proven expertise in building and operating large-scale lifestyle brands across the region," says Corey Salter, chief operating officer, ABG. "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 Asia."
The proposed transaction is subject to successful completion of due diligence, necessary statutory approvals and signing of definitive agreements for asset purchases. The deal is a precursor to a transaction slated for next year, where ABFRL will purchase certain assets of Reebok's India business. The transfer of ownership of the Reebok brand from adidas to ABG is expected to close in Q1 of 2022.