Wolverine buys Sweaty Betty for almost £300m
Premium activewear brand Sweaty Betty is being bought by US giant Wolverine Worldwide for nearly £300 million.
The 23-year-old, London-based company has been a winner from the athleisure trend and this has clearly boosted its value in recent years with the label finding popularity among a wide range of female consumers and benefiting from significant celebrity endorsement.
The company’s CEO, Julia Straus, is staying in place after the completion of the deal that actually adds up to £294.4 million.
Wolverine is mainly known for its footwear operations and owns brands including Hush Puppies, Stride Rite, Sperry, Keds and more.
But it clearly sees major growth opportunities in the gym-to-street apparel segment that looks set to remain on form after the pandemic.
Founded by Tamara and Simon Hill-Norton in order to meet what they saw as a gap in the market for interesting and attractive women's sports clothing, the label is one of a number of athleisure brands that have found a sweet spot in the premium market with consumers happy to pay a bit more for products that they feel have strong design and functionality elements to them.
This has helped the brand expand to a chain of 65 shops in its domestic UK market, as well as developing strong links with retailers around the world, such as Nordstrom.
Wolverine Worldwide president Brendan Hoffman said its "expertise and focus on apparel, female consumers, and best-in-class digital execution has proven to be a winning combination.” And despite its presence in physical shops, he emphasised the strength of its digital-first business model, which Wolverine expects to leverage.
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