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January 3, 2019

Columbia Sportswear buys out China joint venture

By Leonie Barrie

Outdoor apparel, footwear, accessories, and equipment business Columbia Sportswear Company has bought out its partner in a joint venture in China.

The Portland, Oregon based business, yesterday (2 January) said it had acquired the 40% stake in Columbia Sportswear Commercial (Shanghai) Company from its joint venture partner Swire Resources Limited, a subsidiary of Swire Pacific Limited.

Tim Boyle, Columbia’s president and CEO, described the move as “consistent with our strategy to accelerate investment as a brand-led, consumer-focused business in the areas of highest growth potential for our existing brands.”

Future plans include continued investments in building the Columbia brand in China, as well as expansion of direct and dealer-operated retail locations. Columbia also intends to maintain its existing management team, staff, dealers, and distribution networks.

The joint venture began operations on 1 January 2014 with headquarters in Shanghai. Columbia Sportswear Company owned a 60% stake and Swire the remaining 40%, with profits and losses shared in similar proportions.

John Soh will become the general manager of Columbia Sportswear Commercial (Shanghai) Company in mid-February 2019.

Swire Resources will continue to serve as the exclusive independent distributor of Columbia Sportswear in Hong Kong and Macau.

In addition to the Columbia brand, Columbia Sportswear Company also owns the Mountain Hardwear, Sorel, and prAna brands. The company recently lifted its full-year guidance on the back of a record third quarter in which net income rose 14% to US$100.2m as sales climbed 6% to $795.8m.

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