Wolverine Buys Sweaty Betty for $410 Million to Boost Activewear
(Bloomberg) -- Wolverine World Wide Inc. bought British fitness and lifestyle brand Sweaty Betty for $410 million to expand its business into the fast-growing activewear sector.
The U.S. footwear and lifestyle group closed the all-cash deal on Monday after L Catterton, a private-equity firm co-owned by Bernard Arnault, the CEO of LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE, and other shareholders agreed to the transaction, the company said in a statement.
Founded in 1998 by Tamara and Simon Hill-Norton, Sweaty Betty, a U.K. version of the popular U.S. brand LuluLemon, has built a loyal customer base for its premium exercise outfits and “athleisure” casual wear made out of high-quality materials. Like rivals, Sweaty Betty emerged a winner from pandemic lockdowns as people forced to stay at home for long periods turned to exercise, home workouts, and online shopping.
More than 80% of the brand’s revenue comes from selling directly to customers through channels, such as online. In the U.S., Sweaty Betty products can be found in Nordstrom department stores.
Wolverine World Wide, the home of brands such as Saucony and Sperry, said the acquisition will be add to earnings in the first year.
“Sweaty Betty’s expertise and focus on apparel, female consumers and best-in-class digital execution has proven to be a winning combination,” said Brendan Hoffman, president of Wolverine World Wide.
Sweaty Betty Chief Executive Officer Julia Straus will continue to lead the brand and report to Hoffman.
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