Wolverine buys Sweaty Betty for $ 410 million
Boot and sneaker maker Keds dives deeper into apparel with the acquisition of women’s sportswear brand Sweaty Betty for around $ 410 million in cash, according to the company.
Wolverine Worldwide Inc., which has been best known for selling footwear since its founding in 1883, is making the jump into sportswear as the category grows, along with the competition. Brands such as J.Crew Group Inc. and Tory Burch LLC now sell their own lines of sportswear and department stores such as Nordstrom Inc. and Kohl’s Corp. devote more space to stretch and performance clothing. Its appeal only grew during the pandemic, when it doubled as office attire and loungewear.
“Performance and fashion — there has been a merger of this over the past few years that is going to continue into the future,” said Blake Krueger, CEO of Wolverine. He said Sweaty Betty, which was founded in 1998 and is based in London, has stood up to big brands. “They have carved out their own attributes, their own niche in the market,” he said.
“My mission has always been to empower women through fitness and beyond,” Sweaty Betty co-founder Tamara Hill-Norton wrote on the company’s website. Ms Hill-Norton and her husband, Simon Hill-Norton, are no longer officially involved in the business, according to Wolverine.
Wolverine buys the brand from shareholders including L Catterton, a private equity firm co-owned by Bernard Arnault, CEO of LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE.