Lululemon founder Chip Wilson posts investment gain as Chinese sports brand Anta hits record
Shares of Anta Sports Products rose 4.7% on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange last week after China’s top-rated sports brand posted a first-half profit increase.
Anta, led by billionaire brothers Ding Shizhong and Ding Shijia, said on Monday that revenue for the first six months of 2019 increased 40% from the previous year to 14.8 billion yuan, or 2.1 billions of dollars ; net profit soared 28% to 2.5 billion yuan. Its Hong Kong-traded stock closed Thursday at a record high of HK $ 65.30 before losing HK $ 0.30 to HK $ 65 on Friday. Anta ended the week with a gain of 4.7% from a close of HK $ 62.10 on Friday August 23. Anta’s shares have risen by half in the past year.
Anta’s revenues increased in part due to the strength of its Fila-branded fashion sports business; Fila’s sales climbed 80% from the previous year to 6.8 billion yuan and accounted for 44% of total business in the first half of the year. Anta’s stock also rose amid optimism about sports-related spending ahead of upcoming Olympics in Japan and China, and hopes its $ 5.2 billion acquisition this year from Amer of Scandinavia. . Amer’s well-known brands include Atomic ski equipment, Salomon ski boots, and Wilson tennis racquets, among others.
The increase in Anta’s shares notably enriched Chip Wilson, the founder of the sportswear brand Lululemon. Wilson agreed to pay HK $ 778 million for 0.6% stake in Anta at a price of HK $ 49.11 per share on May 30. At Friday’s close of HK $ 65, the Canadian billionaire has already made a 32% gain on the investment. Anta said in June that its sale of shares to Wilson “represents a valuable opportunity for the company to tap into a reputable investor with strong financial resources and an extensive commercial network.” Wilson certainly didn’t hurt.
Like Wilson, the leaders of Anta have built world-class fortunes. President Ding Shizhong Worth $ 5.2 Billion on Forbes’ Real-Time Billionaire List; Vice President Ding Shijia $ 5.1 billion and Wilson $ 4.1 billion.
Wilson’s purchase of a stake in Anta is not the first time Wilson has partnered with the Fujian-based company. Anta and Wilson teamed up with Tencent and FountainVest Partners to buy Amer earlier this year.
Anta’s market cap of around $ 23 billion lags far behind industry leader Nike’s $ 132 billion valuation. Nike shares, on the other hand, have only risen 3% in the past year. Anta was neck and neck on Friday with Lululemon’s market cap of $ 24 billion. Lululemon’s Nasdaq-traded shares have gained about a fifth in the past year.
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