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HanesBrands in $1.2 billion deal to sell Champion

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HanesBrands is selling its Champion brand to Authentic Brands Group.

Authentic Brands Group has added an iconic activewear brand to its growing portfolio, which includes Reebok, Quiksiver, Billabong, Eddie Bauer and more.

HanesBrands has entered into an agreement to sell the intellectual property and certain operating assets of its global Champion business to Authentic Brands Group for a transaction value of $1.2 billion. The deal has the potential to achieve up to $1.5 billion through contingent cash consideration of up to $300 million based on the brand’s performance. 

Founded in 1919, Champion is known for its signature “C” logo. It operates in more than 90 countries. As of the end of the first quarter of 2024, Hanes reported that Champion generated around $75 million of adjusted EBITDA during the past 12 months.

The agreement, which has been unanimously approved by the HanesBrands board, marks the conclusion of the company’s  previously announced evaluation of a range of strategic options for the Champion business. Hanes said it intends to focus on extending its leadership position in the innerwear category across its portfolio of brands that include Hanes, Bonds, Maidenform and Bali.

“The successful completion of this transaction further simplifies our business, deleverages our balance sheet and enhances the company’s operations and financial performance,” said HanesBrands CEO Bill Simon. “As we begin the next chapter for HanesBrands, we believe we’re in an even stronger position to further extend our leadership in innerwear, pursue new cost reduction opportunities as we ensure we have the right operating structure in place, and advance our multi-year flywheel to drive strong shareholder returns.”

The acquisition will increase Authentic’s system-wide annual retail sales to more than $32 billion worldwide, the company said.

“Over the last few years, the addition of new brands together with the expansion of live events has grown Authentic into a world leading sports and entertainment licensing company,” said Jamie Salter, chairman and CEO, Authentic Brands. “Bringing Champion into the fold further expands our position in this space.”

Authentic said it plans to leverage its diverse and multifaceted platform of consumer verticals, along with its expertise in brand-building, to convert the Champion business into a licensed model. The company is in discussions with several existing and potential operators in key regions to manage the manufacturing, physical retail, e-commerce and wholesale operations of the business and maintain the brand’s global footprint.

“Our successful efforts igniting Reebok's momentum in sports have created a playbook to achieve a similar feat with Champion,” said Nick Woodhouse, president and chief brand officer of Authentic Brands. “With expansive reach, differentiated channel strategy and a balanced strength across its women’s and men’s businesses, Champion has profoundly influenced sports culture. This is the perfect time for the brand to make a significant impact as women's sports continue to broaden their presence and fandom worldwide.”

Authentic’s portfolio includes Shaquille O’Neal, David Beckham, Sports Illustrated, Dr. J, Greg Norman, Neil Lane, Thalia, Marilyn Monroe, Elvis Presley, Muhammad Ali, Reebok, Brooks Brothers, Barneys New York, Judith Leiber, Ted Baker, Hunter, Vince, Hervé Léger, Frye, Nautica, Juicy Couture, Vince Camuto, Lucky Brand, Aéropostale, Forever 21, Nine West, Sperry, Rockport, Eddie Bauer, Boardriders, Quiksilver, Billabong, Roxy, DC Shoes, RVCA, Spyder, Volcom, Prince, Izod, Van Heusen, Hart Schaffner Marx and Thomasville.

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