Columbia Sportswear closes buyout of China JV from Swire

Columbia Sportswear closed the buyout of the remaining 40 per cent interest in its joint venture with Swire Resources this week.

“We thank Swire Resources for contributing to the success and growth of the Columbia brand in China,” said Tim Boyle, Columbia’s president and CEO. “They have been an exceptional partner for us over the years and we look forward to continuing our strong relationship with them in Hong Kong and Macau.”

Following on from the sale, Swire Resources will continue to serve as the exclusive independent distributor of Columbia Sportswear in Hong Kong and Macau.

The buyout was revealed last April, but was subject to regulatory approval.

The joint venture began operations on January 1, 2014 with headquarters in Shanghai. Columbia Sportswear Company owned 60 percent of the operation and Swire owned 40 percent, with profits and losses shared in similar proportions.

“We are very pleased with the positioning of the Columbia brand, and are committed to investing in the continued long-term success of Columbia in the crucial Chinese market,” said Boyle.

“The acquisition is consistent with our strategy to accelerate investment as a brand-led, consumer-focused business in the areas of highest growth potential for our existing brands.”

Future plans include continued investments in building the Columbia brand in China, as well as expansion of direct and dealer-operated retail locations. Boyle says Columbia also intends to maintain the existing management team, staff, dealers, and distribution networks that have helped the Columbia brand flourish in China.

At the end of 2017, the joint venture ran 86 retail stores in China, and was selling through brand-specific e-commerce sites in China across multiple platforms. It had distribution relationships with about 50 wholesale dealers running about 750 retail locations.

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