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Amer, backed by Anta Sports, makes winning debut in New York after US$1.4 billion stock offering

Amer Sports, backed by China's biggest sportswear maker Anta Sports Products, made a winning start as a listed company after its shares rose by 3.1 per cent in New York on Thursday.

Shares of the Finland-based company closed at US$13.40, giving the owner of Wilson, Salomn and Arc'teryx brands a market value of US$6.6 billion. The stock traded 0.2 per cent to 6.2 per cent higher during the trading hours.

Amer raised about US$1.4 billion from the sale of 105 million shares at US$13 each, below the US$16 to US$18 price range it marketed to investors, according to its exchange filing Wednesday. The proceeds would be used to fund its expansion plans in China and repay existing loans.

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Anta Sports, which is based in Xiamen in southeastern Fujian province, has a 52.7 per cent stake in the company. The New York listing represents the largest stock offering by a China-owned company in the US since the US$4.4 billion listing of ride-hailing group DiDi in 2021.

The flagship Wilson store in the SoHo neighbourhood of New York, US, on Thursday, Jan. 4, 2024. Amer Sports Inc., the company behind sporting goods brands Wilson, Salomon and Arc'teryx, has filed for a US initial public offering. Photo: Bloomberg alt=The flagship Wilson store in the SoHo neighbourhood of New York, US, on Thursday, Jan. 4, 2024. Amer Sports Inc., the company behind sporting goods brands Wilson, Salomon and Arc'teryx, has filed for a US initial public offering. Photo: Bloomberg>

Anta declined to comment on the listing.

Patrick Cheung, founding partner of the Hong Kong-based private equity firm ZWC Partners, said the rapid growth of Amer Sports in Greater China confirmed the potential in the consumption sector.

ZWC's focus is primarily on the technology and consumer sectors in China and Asia and it first invested in Amer in 2019, buying a 5 per cent stake in the company.

Amer generated almost one-fifth of its sales from China in the first nine months of 2023, up from 8.3 per cent in 2020, according to its prospectus. It has bolstered its retail footprint in Greater China to include 63 Arc'teryx stores, 30 Salomon stores as of September 30.

"We believe there is a significant runway for growth in the region as we continue to roll out retail locations across our brands and scale our e-commerce platform," the company said.

Amer incurred a net loss of US$115.6 million in the first nine months of 2023, mainly due to goodwill impairment. Revenue surged 30 per cent from a year earlier to US$3.05 billion, its US filings showed.

Anta led a consortium that bought out Amer for US$5.2 billion in 2019, diversifying its product range beyond athletic apparel and trainers. The Hong Kong-listed group had a 20 per cent share of the sportswear market in China in 2022, behind Nike's 22.6 per cent, according to Everbright Securities.

This article originally appeared in the South China Morning Post (SCMP), the most authoritative voice reporting on China and Asia for more than a century. For more SCMP stories, please explore the SCMP app or visit the SCMP's Facebook and Twitter pages. Copyright © 2024 South China Morning Post Publishers Ltd. All rights reserved.

Copyright (c) 2024. South China Morning Post Publishers Ltd. All rights reserved.