Amer Sports, the renowned company behind popular brands like Wilson tennis rackets and Salomon ski boots, is embarking on one of the first substantial initial public offerings (IPOs) of the year, with the aim of raising up to $1.8 billion. They plan to sell 100 million shares at a price range of $16 to $18 per share, with an option for underwriters to sell an additional 15 million shares if demand is sufficient. This IPO has the potential to inject some life into the IPO market, which has been relatively slow in recent years. The last major IPO in the US was for Arm Holdings PLC in September 2023, which raised $5.23 billion but fell short of revitalizing the market as anticipated.

While Arm’s shares have performed well since its IPO, with a 54% increase from the offer price, other recent IPOs such as Birkenstock Holding PLC, Instacart, and Klaviyo Inc. have struggled to maintain their offer prices. The largest IPO since Birkenstock’s listing was the $1 billion offering of American depositary shares by investors in the Kazakhstan mobile app company Smith Douglas Homes Corp. also raised approximately $162 million this month.

BrightSpring Health Services Inc., backed by KKR & Co., and CG Oncology Inc., a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company, are slated to have their share sales this week. Brightspring is aiming to raise up to $1.36 billion, including a sale of convertible securities, while CG Oncology plans to raise $212 million.

Supported by China’s leading athletic apparel producer Anta Sports Products Ltd., Amer Sports owns a portfolio of brands, including Louisville Slugger baseball bats, Arc’teryx outdoor gear, and Atomic winter equipment. Notably, three existing investors in the company—Anta, Anamered Investments Inc., and Tencent Holdings Ltd.—have committed to purchasing shares at the offering price. Anta and Anamered will buy up to $220 million of stock, while Tencent will purchase as much as $70 million. Anamered is the investment firm owned by Chip Wilson, the founder of yoga-apparel retailer Lululemon Athletica Inc.

Having originated in Finland, Amer Sports has experienced significant growth in the Greater China market, accounting for nearly one-fifth of its total revenue in the first nine months of 2023. The company sees substantial potential for further expansion in the region as it expands its store presence and scales its e-commerce platform. Financially, Amer Sports reported a net loss of approximately $115.6 million on revenue of $3.05 billion for the nine-month period ending September 30, 2023. The company envisions a combined market opportunity across its brands of around $522 billion as of 2022. Amer Sports currently employs over 10,800 individuals globally and maintains offices in Helsinki, Munich, Krakow, and Shanghai.

In 2019, a consortium led by Anta acquired Amer Sports for roughly $5.2 billion. The acquisition aimed to bring high-quality athletic equipment to China’s expanding middle class and included the involvement of Tencent and Chip Wilson.

Major financial institutions such as Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Bank of America Corp., JPMorgan Chase & Co., and Morgan Stanley are spearheading the IPO for Amer Sports. The company plans for its shares to be traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol AS.

Useful Links:
1) Amer Sports Official Website
2) Amer Sports Launches Newly Revamped E-Boutique in Hong Kong