Baker McKenzie is advising Wolverine World Wide Inc. ("Wolverine") on a joint venture with Xtep International Holdings Limited ("Xtep") to develop, market and distribute Merrell® and Saucony® products in Mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau.
The joint venture plans to open new stores under the Merrell and Saucony banners, with the majority slated for shopping malls in China’s larger cities, coupled with an increasing presence for these brands in Hong Kong and Macau. The joint venture is expected to begin operating in the second half of 2019.
Wolverine is one of the world’s leading marketers and licensors of branded casual, active lifestyle, work, outdoor sport, athletic, children’s and uniform footwear and apparel. The company’s products are carried by leading retailers in the US and globally in approximately 200 countries and territories.
Xtep is a powerful vertical player in the fast-growing sportswear market, with over 6,200 stores in 31 provinces and municipalities across China, including a strong network of distributors and shopping mall operators.
Baker McKenzie fielded a cross-practice team led by Tracy Wut (M&A Partner), Sze Shing Tan (M&A Principal) and Louann Fang Richard (M&A Associate). They were supported by M&A associates Max Lee and Prem Ramaswamy as well as IP partner Isabella Liu.
Commenting on the deal, Tracy said: "This joint venture will strengthen Wolverine's presence in the Greater China market. We are very pleased to have assisted our client on this strategic deal. This transaction plays to our strength in complex M&A transactions and also our deep industry experience in assisting consumer and retail companies to deal with multi-faceted issues in complex cross-border deals."