FINANCE

Amer Sports, maker of Wilson tennis rackets and Salomon boots, seeks IPO that could raise $1.8 billion

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Amer Sports Inc., the maker of Wilson tennis rackets and Salomon ski boots, is seeking to raise as much as $1.8 billion in what would be one of the year’s first major initial public offerings.

In a listing that could further accelerate the pace of IPOs after a two-year slump, Amer Sports is selling 100 million shares at $16 to $18 each, the company said in a statement Monday, confirming an earlier Bloomberg News report. Underwriters can sell an additional 15 million shares if there’s enough demand. 

The listing would be the biggest in the U.S. since a crop of IPOs led by semiconductor designer Arm Holdings Plc’s $5.23 billion offering in September failed to deliver a hoped-for rebound in the market. 

While Arm’s shares have since gained 54% from the offer price, Birkenstock Holding Plc had gained less then 1% as of Friday, while Instacart and Klaviyo Inc. remained well below their offer prices.

The largest IPO since Birkenstock’s $1.48 billion listing in October was Thursday’s $1 billion offering of American depositary shares by investors in Kazakhstan mobile app company Kaspi.kz. Also this month, Smith Douglas Homes Corp. raised about $162 million.

This week, KKR & Co.-backed BrightSpring Health Services Inc. and clinical stage biopharmaceutical company CG Oncology Inc. are scheduled for share sales. Including a sale of convertible securities, BrightSpring is seeking to raise as much as $1.36 billion on Thursday, the day after CG Oncology’s listing targeting $212 million is set to price.

Amer Sports, which is backed by China’s largest athletic-apparel producer Anta Sports Products Ltd., owns brands including Louisville Slugger baseball bats, Arc’teryx outdoor gear and Atomic winter equipment.

From Finland to China

Three existing investors in the company — Anta, Anamered Investments Inc. and Tencent Holdings Ltd. — have agreed to buy shares at the offering price, according to a regulatory filing Monday. Anta and Anamered will buy up to $220 million of stock, while Tencent will buy as much as $70 million, the filing shows. Anamered is the investment firm of Chip Wilson, founder of yoga-apparel retailer Lululemon Athletica Inc.

Founded in Finland, Amer Sports has found Greater China to be a source of growth, driving nearly one-fifth of its total revenue in the first nine months of 2023 with “significant runway for growth in the region” as it opens more stores and scales its e-commerce platform, its filings show.

The company had a net loss of about $115.6 million on revenue of $3.05 billion for the nine months ended Sept. 30, according to the filings. It sees a collective market opportunity across its brands of approximately $522 billion as of 2022.

Amer Sports has more than 10,800 employees globally, and offices in Helsinki, Munich, Krakow and Shanghai, according to a statement.

A consortium led by Anta acquired Amer Sports for about $5.2 billion in 2019 as part of an effort to bring high-end athletic equipment to China’s increasingly wealthy middle class. The buyer group also included Tencent and Chip Wilson.

Amer Sports’ IPO is being led by Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Bank of America Corp., JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Morgan Stanley. The company plans for its shares to trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol AS.

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