Adidas has confirmed that it plans to sell Reebok as part of a 5 year growth strategy to focus on its own brand.
Reebok was founded in Bolton in 1895 and was acquired by the German sportswear giant in 2006 for €3.1bn, as it sought to take on Nike. The so-called “Muscle Up” initiative was intended to “unleash its full potential” in the global sporting goods market.
However, it has struggled over recent years and is expected to be sold for less than €2bn (£1.7bn).
“The long-term growth opportunities in our industry are highly attractive, particularly for iconic sports brands,” stated adidas CEO Kasper Rorsted.
“After careful consideration, we have come to the conclusion that Reebok and adidas will be able to significantly better realise their growth potential independently of each other. We will work diligently in the coming months to ensure a successful future for the Reebok brand and the team behind it.”
Reebok had offices in Bolton until 2009 and sponsored Bolton Wanderer’s stadium between 1997 and 2014.
adidas’ Head Office for Northern Europe is based in Greater Manchester.