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NEW DELHI : Aditya Birla Fashion and Retail Ltd (ABFRL) will distribute and sell Reebok products in India and in Southeast Asia, marking its foray into the fast-growing sports and active wear segment. Under a long-term licensing pact with brand development and marketing company Authentic Brands Group (ABG), Aditya Birla Fashion and Retail will have exclusive rights to distribute and sell Reebok products in these markets through wholesale, e-commerce and Reebok-branded retail stores, according to a company statement.

This follows Adidas selling Reebok to ABG for a deal value of up to €2.1 billion (about 18,000 crore) in August. The transfer of ownership of the Reebok brand from Adidas to ABG is expected to happen by the March quarter, ABFRL said in a regulatory filing on Tuesday.

The deal includes licensing agreement with Reebok International Ltd and purchase of inventory and other net current assets and liabilities of Reebok India Company.

The latest transaction will expand ABFRL’s existing alliance with ABG. It currently sells Forever 21 and Van Heusen brands in India through a partnership with ABG. In India, Reebok will compete with Nike, Puma, Adidas, Skechers, and to some extent, mid-priced sports goods chain Decathlon.

“As Indians get more active, athletic and health focused, 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 Indian partnership will accelerate ABG’s strategy of assembling a network of core operating partners globally for the Reebok brand. ABFRL will partner with Reebok Design Group, the global brand hub based in Boston, on product design, development, innovation and creative direction to drive a unified brand voice and vision, the companies said in a joint statement.ABFRL currently sells brands such as Louis Philippe, Van Heusen and Allen Solly.

The company said it could spend between 75 crore to 100 crore for purchase of inventory and other current assets and liabilities, subject, to actual value at the time of closing the deal.

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