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Authentic Brands pick up Champion for over USD 1 billion, names new ANZ head

Authentic Brands Group (ABG) has acquired U.S. sportswear brand Champion for more than USD 1 billion.

SEE ALSO: Authentic Brands Group to open Japan office

The New York-based brand management company has entered into an informal agreement to buy the struggling Champion label from current owner HanesBrands, after coming up winner in a bidding process then went on for weeks, according to WWD.

Other parties interested in Champion were Delta Galil, Sycamore Partners, G-III Apparel and WHP Global, sources told WWD on April 2.

“Champion agreed to be acquired by ABG last Friday or Monday,” said the source. “They should close around the end of May or early June.”

The acquisition could see thousands of employees around the world losing their jobs, given the intellectual-property management company traditionally sources much of the manufacturing, design, logistics and operation of its labels’ various components to other companies.

Champion was put up for sale last year, where its parent HanesBrands was initially seeking at least USD 1.4 billion.

Over the last two years, Champion’s sales have plummeted, in part due to fewer collaborations with names with big name brands. Champion sales fell by 23 percent in the fourth quarter of 2023, with weakness attributed to both the strategic changes and the challenging sports apparel market.

Lim Mi-Kyoung. Source: ABG

In a separate announcement, ABG announced the appointment of Lim Mi-Kyoung as SVP, head of Australia and New Zealand. In her new role, Mi-Kyoung will oversee Authentic’s regional expansion, focusing on brand development and driving long-term growth. As Authentic’s first employee based in Australia, the executive will build a team of industry experts dedicated to advancing the company’s portfolio of brands in the region.

“As our business continues to grow across the region, we are bringing in top talent to usher our brands and open the door to new opportunities to launch new categories and distribution channels,” said Wesley Chu, EVP of APAC at Authentic.

“Lim brings an extensive track record of driving brand value and building lasting relationships with best-in-class manufacturers and retailers. We are excited about the impact she will have on our portfolio as we unlock the value of our brands in this untapped market.”