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ANTA Sports plans US listing for Amer Sports, banks on board

ANTA Sports [HKG: 2020], a Chinese athletic apparel maker, is planning a potential spin-off for its 52.7%-held Amer Sports in the form of an initial public offering (IPO) in the US, said two sources familiar with the situation. 

The HKD 220bn (USD 28.1bn)-market cap company has hired three investment banks including Morgan Stanley to help arrange the potential spin-off listing, the sources said. 

ANTA awarded the mandate a few weeks ago and aims to list Amer later this year or early next year, the two sources said. 

The Finnish sports good manufacturer could reach a valuation of around USD 8bn upon share floatation, the first source said. 

ANTA, Amer and Morgan Stanley did not respond to requests for comment.

ANTA was weighing a potential spin off and separate listing of Amer, according to a Bloomberg report in December last year. 

The potential listing candidate, a subsidiary of ANTA Sports’ joint venture AS Holding, operates brands including Arc’teryx, Salomon, Wilson, Peak Performance, Atomic and others, according to ANTA's 2023 interim results announcement.

AS Holding recorded a net loss of CNY 983m (USD 136.8m) on a revenue of CNY 13.3bn for the six months ended June 2023. It recorded a CNY 1.8bn EBITDA in the financial period, as per the same announcement. 

In March 2019, Amer was successfully acquired and privatized by an ANTA-led consortium, comprising FountainVest, Tencent [HKG:0700] and Lululemon [NASDAQ:LULU] founder Chip Wilson, as disclosed. The acquisition valued Amer at approximately EUR 4.6bn (USD 5bn), according to its deal advisor Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer’s disclosure

In November of the same year, ANTA transferred a 5.25% indirect interest in Amer Sports to several individual investors including Chairman and Executive Director Ding Shizhong, Sequoia Capital China, ZWC Partners and FountainVest for EUR 133.3m, as disclosed. 

ANTA is principally engaged in the design, research and development (R&D), manufacturing, marketing and sale of professional sports products such as shoes, apparel and accessories to Chinese consumers. Its brand portfolio comprises ANTA, FILA, DESCENTE and KOLON SPORT, according to its 2023 interim results announcement.

As of 30 June 2023, it had 6,941 ANTA stores, 2,692 ANTA KIDS stores, 1,942 FILA stores, 183 DESCENTE stores and 160 KOLON SPORT stores in mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau and overseas, as its announcement disclosed. 

The company posted a net profit of CNY 4.7bn on a revenue of CNY 29.6bn for the first six months ended June 2023, as per the announcement.