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New Delhi: Aditya Birla Fashion and Retail Limited (ABFRL) on Tuesday said it has entered into a long-term licensing agreement with brand development and marketing company Authentic Brands Group (ABG) that grants ABFRL exclusive rights to distribute and sell Reebok products. 

The products of the sportswear brand will be sold through wholesale, e-commerce and Reebok retail stores in India and ASEAN countries.

In August 2021, Adidas announced the sale of brand Reebok to Authentic Brands Group (ABG) for a total consideration of up to € 2.1 billion. Authentic Brands Group also owns the Forever 21 brand globally that is sold in India through ABFRL.

The transfer of ownership of the Reebok brand from Adidas to ABG is expected to close in Q1 of 2022.

This partnership helps further ABG’s global Reebok strategy of assembling a network of core operating partners around the world who are committed to driving innovation and growth while upholding the brand’s integrity and values. ABFRL will partner with Reebok Design Group (RDG), the newly-established global brand hub based in Boston, on all product design, development, innovation and creative direction to drive a unified brand voice and vision, the two said in a statement.

For ABFRL that operates brands such as Louis Philippe, Van Heusen, Allen Solly in India the deal marks its foray into India’s fast-growing sports and activewear segment. It recently invested in India’s homegrown high-end designer wear brand such as Tarun Tahiliani and Sabyasachi.

The sportswear segment is expected to grow to $13 billion by FY24.

The addition of Reebok brand will fill an important white space in ABFRL’s portfolio, the company said.

“As Indians get more active, athletic and health focussed, their consumption of apparel and accessories is expected to increasingly change in line with these trends, providing an opportunity to build iconic brands of global repute," said Ashish Dikshit, managing director, ABFRL.

The partnership will help propel brand Reebok in India and Southeast Asia, said Corey Salter, chief operating officer, Authentic Brands Group.

“We are very pleased to expand our existing partnership with ABFRL, which includes Forever 21 and other ABG brands, and are confident that ABFRL will be successful in solidifying Reebok’s position with a growing audience of fans in India and Southeast Asia," he said.

Following the news, shares of ABFRL rose 5.3% to 280.10 on the BSE early Tuesday.

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