Chinese footwear manufacturer and retailer Belle International has filed papers for a public listing of its sportswear business Topsports International. The deal could amount to 1 billion US dollars
According to official documents the offering is jointly sponsored by the Bank of America and Morgan Stanley. The float of the sportswear business, expected to take place in the second half of this year, could raise an estimated 1 billion US dollars.
Belle is said to have plans the proceeds of the deal for technology, new staff, purchasing equipment and upgrading its directly operated stores.
The spinoff was first proposed more than a year ago by the company’s private equity owners Hillhouse Capital and CDH who acquired Belle back in 2017 through a deal amounting to 6.8 billion US dollars.
Topsport International is the largest sportswear retailer in Mainland China, with more than 8 300 stores and a portfolio of foreign labels such as Nike and adidas. Based on last year’s results with revenue increasing by 22.4% and amounting to 3.85 billion US dollars, it is estimated that Topsport holds a market share of 15.9%.
Established in 1991, Belle manufacturers shoes under its own brands such as Belle and Staccato, and distributes other foreign labels such as Puma, Converse, Timberland and The North Face. Belle’s unit Topsports is the largest sportswear retailer in China in terms of retail sales value.
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