Anta-Led Consortium Nears Deal to Acquire Amer Sports

(Bloomberg) -- A consortium led by China’s Anta Sports Products Ltd. is nearing an agreement to buy Finland’s Amer Sports Oyj, owner of brands including Wilson tennis rackets, people familiar with the matter said.

Companies are negotiating final details of a transaction, and a deal could be announced as early as Thursday, the people said, asking not to be identified because the matter is private. The investor group has been discussing a price of around 40 euros per share for Amer, the people said.

Anta said in September it had teamed up with Chinese buyout firm FountainVest Partners to make an indicative offer valuing Amer at about 4.7 billion euros ($5.3 billion). Significant minority investors in the consortium also include Chip Wilson, the billionaire founder of yoga-apparel retailer Lululemon Athletica Inc., and Chinese internet giant Tencent Holdings Ltd., Bloomberg News has reported.

Talks could still be delayed at the last minute, according to the people. A representative for the Chinese consortium didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment, while a representative for Amer couldn’t immediately be reached during a public holiday in Finland.

Anta, which has a market value of about $12.7 billion, has been working to grow its business overseas amid a Chinese government push to expand in sports ranging from soccer to skiing.

Amer’s portfolio of well-known sports brands, including Salomon ski boots, could be an attractive prospect for Anta ahead of the upcoming Olympic Games in Asia. The Finnish company also sells Louisville Slugger baseball bats, Arc’teryx outdoor gear and Atomic winter equipment.

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