In 2014, Columbia Sportswear set up a joint venture in China called Columbia Sportswear Commercial with Swire Resources. Columbia Sports owns 60 per cent stake in the JV. Now, Columbia plans to buy the remaining 40 per cent from its Chinese joint venture partner.
Following the acquisition, Columbia Sports plans to continue investing in the brand’s development in China, while also expanding its distribution network through both direct channels and dealer-operated retailers. The company will maintain the joint venture’s current staff and management team.
The acquisition is consistent with Columbia’s strategy to accelerate investment as a brand-led, consumer-first business in the areas of highest growth potential for its existing brands. In 2017, the joint venture rake in $168 million in sales and is on track to see high single-digit growth in 2018. Columbia Sportswear is a US-based outdoor and sportswear group. Swire Resources is a subsidiary of Swire Pacific.
Columbia Sportswear currently operates in 86 locations across China and also sells through brand-specific websites, and some 50 wholesalers operating around 750 locations between them. After the acquisition, Swire Resources will continue to be Columbia Sportswear’s exclusive independent distributor in Hong Kong and Macau. The acquisition is expected to complete around January 2019.