On 27 December, Japan’s Sumitomo Rubber Industries, Ltd. entered into an agreement with UK-based sporting goods retailer Sports Direct International plc to acquire the international trademark rights for the Dunlop brand and the brand’s sporting goods and licencing businesses. The transaction carries a purchase price of US$137.5 million.
Sports Direct International’s Dunlop Business currently operates in the UK, Europe, Asia (except Japan, Korea and Taiwan), USA and Canada. For the year ended 24 April 2016, it had combined revenue of £42.64 million, gross assets of £41.76 million and profit before tax of £4.06 million.
After the deal is completed, Sumitomo Rubber Group, in its Tire business, will be the owner and licensor of Dunlop trademark rights in all regions outside of Europe, North America, India and Australia. In the Sports and Industrial Products business segments, the acquisition will enable Sumitomo Rubber to produce and sell Dunlop products globally. Sumitomo Rubber’s position will shift from licensee to licensor in a total of 86 countries
Under the transaction, Sumitomo Rubber Group will also acquire Sports Direct International’s sporting goods manufacturing and sales business for Dunlop brand products as well as its licensing business with respect to the trademark rights for the Dunlop brand. The acquiring entity will be Dunlop International Co. Ltd., a new company jointly established by Sumitomo Rubber and its sports business subsidiary, Dunlop Sports Co. Ltd. Dunlop International will operate the acquired businesses after the transaction is completed.
The transaction is conditional upon merger clearance in Germany and the Philippines. Subject to merger clearance being received/granted in those jurisdictions, the Transaction is expected to be completed before 31 May 2017.
Sumitomo Rubber Group stresses that the deal will have no impact upon its existing tyre business.