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August 4, 2021

Wolverine Worldwide takes over British apparel brand Sweaty Betty

The acquisition is expected to be accretive to Wolverine Worldwide's earnings in its first year.

US-based footwear and apparel manufacturer Wolverine Worldwide has acquired British fitness and lifestyle brand Sweaty Betty for around $410m.

As part of the transaction, Wolverine Worldwide bought all shares of Sweaty Betty’s owner, Lady of Leisure InvestCo, from L Catterton and other shareholders.

The all-cash deal was completed on 2 August and is expected to be accretive to Wolverine Worldwide’s earnings in its first year.

Wolverine Worldwide funded the acquisition using cash and its revolving line of credit.

Based in London, Sweaty Betty offers a wide range of products, including tops, bottoms, swimwear, outerwear and accessories.

The company operates a network of shops across the UK and Asia, as well as an online retail service.

It also sells its products at Selfridges, Harrods and in shop-in-shops in more than 99 Nordstrom outlets across North America.

Wolverine Worldwide chairman and CEO Blake W Krueger said: “The acquisition of Sweaty Betty complements our strategic shift over the last several years from a traditional footwear wholesaler into a consumer-obsessed, digital-focused growth company.

“It also gives us a leadership position in the growing women’s activewear category.”

Sweaty Betty CEO Julia Straus will continue to lead the brand, reporting to Wolverine Worldwide president Brendan Hoffman.

Ms Straus said: “From the moment I met the team at Wolverine Worldwide, I knew they were the right partner to support us in the next chapter of Sweaty Betty.

“Their portfolio of purpose-driven heritage brands, knowledge and expertise in building performance brands, robust international distribution and supply chain expertise provides a strong platform to expand Sweaty Betty and further our mission to ‘empower more women through fitness all over the world’.”

Rothschild and Co acted as financial advisor to Wolverine for the transaction, while Baker McKenzie and Honigman served as the company’s legal advisors.

Last August, Retail Insight Network reported that Sweaty Betty was considering selling itself amid the coronavirus pandemic.