(Bloomberg) -- China’s biggest athletic-apparel producer Anta Sports Products Ltd. is considering an initial public offering of Amer Sports, according to people familiar with the matter.
Anta and its co-investors in the Wilson tennis racket maker are holding preliminary talks with investment banks for an IPO that could raise about $1 billion or more, the people said. The group, which includes private equity firm FountainVest Partners, is considering a listing that could take place as early as next year, the people said.
The final size and venue haven’t been decided, the people said, asking not to be identified because the matter is private.
Along with Wilson, Amer Sports’s brand portfolio features Arc’teryx outdoor gear, Atomic winter equipment, Salomon ski boots and Louisville Slugger baseball bats. Its first-half revenue hit a record high, reaching almost 10 billion yuan ($1.4 billion), or a 21% increase from a year earlier, according to Anta’s interim report. The business has expanded in China despite the impact of the country’s Covid Zero strategy on consumer spending.
Considerations are at an early stage and Anta and its partners could decide against a listing, the people said.
Representatives for Anta and FountainVest didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.
A consortium led by Anta Sports agreed to buy Finland’s Amer Sports for $5.2 billion in 2018 as part of an effort to bring high-end athletic equipment to China’s increasingly wealthy middle class. Along with FountainVest, investors in the consortium included Tencent Holdings Ltd. and Chip Wilson, the billionaire founder of yoga-apparel retailer Lululemon Athletica Inc. In 2020, Anta sold Amer’s fitness-equipment company Precor to Peloton Interactive Inc. for $420 million.
The company said in its 2021 annual report that the investor consortium has set a strategic growth plan for Amer to unlock its full potential but didn’t provide further details.
Anta shares have dropped about 17% this year, valuing the company at about $33.7 billion.
--With assistance from Daniela Wei.
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