adidas completes divestiture of Reebok and launches new share buyback program

HerzogenaurachMarch 1, 2022
  • Divestiture of Reebok to Authentic Brands Group formally completed 
  • adidas receives majority of total consideration in cash upon formally completed Reebok divestiture 
  • adidas launches additional share buyback program of up to € 1.5 billion to return cash proceeds to shareholders
  • First tranche of regular multi-year share buyback program completed on February 22

adidas announced today that as of February 28, 2022, it has formally completed the divestiture of Reebok to Authentic Brands Group (ABG). In several markets, adidas will continue to operate the business on behalf of ABG during a transition period, following which the Reebok business will fully transfer to ABG’s operating partners via a series of deferred local closings. These deferred local closings will take place later this year and in early 2023. In-line with the definitive agreement signed in August 2021 and as a result of the formal completion of the divestiture, adidas has now received the majority of the total consideration of up to € 2.1 billion in cash, with the remainder comprised of deferred and contingent consideration.

Against this background, adidas will launch a new share buyback program to return the cash proceeds from the Reebok divestiture to its shareholders. Starting in mid-March 2022, the company intends to repurchase own shares in an amount of up to € 1.5 billion until the end of the third quarter 2022.  

The decision to repurchase shares will be in addition to the company’s regular buyback activities. In December 2021, adidas had launched a multi-year share buyback program under which the company plans to buy back shares in an amount of up to € 4 billion until 2025. The first tranche of this program was launched on January 10 and completed on February 22, 2022. During that period, the company bought back 4,156,558 shares for a total amount of € 1 billion, corresponding to an average purchase price per share of € 240.58.
“We thank Reebok and the employees who transfer to ABG and its operating partners as a result of today’s closing and acknowledge their contribution to the company over the years and during the transition period”, said Harm Ohlmeyer, CFO of adidas. “The completion of the divestiture of Reebok is another important milestone in the execution of our strategy ‘Own the Game”. As previously announced, we are returning the cash proceeds from the divestiture to our shareholders. This will be done via another share buyback program and reflects our confident outlook on 2022 despite the various challenges we are currently confronted with.”

Strong shareholder returns are a key component of adidas’ strategy ‘Own the Game’. As part of ‘Own the Game’, adidas plans to generate substantial free cash flow until 2025 and return the majority of it – between € 8 and 9 billion – to its shareholders via dividend payments and share buybacks. With today’s announcement these regular shareholder returns are complemented by an additional € 1.5 billion share buyback program related to the divestiture of Reebok.