Why Wolverine World Wide (WWW) Is Buying Sweaty Betty For $410 Million

By Amit Chowdhry ● Aug 4, 2021
  • Wolverine World Wide, Inc. (NYSE: WWW) recently announced a deal to buy Sweaty Betty for $410 million. These are the details.

Wolverine World Wide, Inc. (NYSE: WWW) — a company that operates one of the world’s largest portfolios of footwear and lifestyle brands — announced that it has acquired Sweaty Betty (a global fitness and lifestyle brand on a mission to empower women). The all-cash transaction is valued at approximately $410 million.

Launched in 1998, Sweaty Betty has quickly grown to become a global brand designed by women for women. And it has cultivated a loyal following through its purpose-driven mission and high-quality products, including a wide array of innovative and on-trend tops, bottoms, swimwear, outerwear, and accessories. Distributed around the world, over eighty percent of the brand’s revenue currently comes through direct-to-consumer channels, allowing deep connections with its passionate consumer base.

Effective as of August 2, 2021, Wolverine Worldwide acquired all the shares of Lady of Leisure InvestCo Limited — the entity that owns the Sweaty Betty brand — from L Catterton and other shareholders for approximately $410 million, funded by cash and the company’s revolving line of credit. And it is expected to be accretive to earnings in year one.

KEY QUOTES:

“The acquisition of Sweaty Betty complements our strategic shift over the last several years from a traditional footwear wholesaler into a consumer-obsessed, digital-focused growth company. It also gives us a leadership position in the growing women’s activewear category. Wolverine Worldwide has a long and successful track record of acquiring and building brands, including performance brands like Sweaty Betty, and we are thrilled to welcome them to our company.”

  • Blake W. Krueger, Wolverine’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer

“Sweaty Betty aligns perfectly with our strategic growth plan for Wolverine Worldwide, as we focus on growing digital channels, expanding our international footprint, and building our brand portfolio beyond footwear. Sweaty Betty’s expertise and focus on apparel, female consumers, and best-in-class digital execution has proven to be a winning combination. We are excited to support the brand’s continued growth while learning from its digital-first mindset and leveraging that strength across our portfolio.”

  • Brendan Hoffman, President of Wolverine Worldwide

“Sweaty Betty has seen incredible growth over the past few years, and we are excited to further accelerate this growth as part of the Wolverine Worldwide family,” said Straus. “From the moment I met the team at Wolverine Worldwide, I knew they were the right partner to support us in the next chapter of Sweaty Betty. Their portfolio of purpose-driven heritage brands, knowledge and expertise in building performance brands, robust international distribution, and supply chain expertise provides a strong platform to expand Sweaty Betty and further our mission to ‘empower more women through fitness all over the world’.”

  • Sweaty Betty’s Chief Executive Officer Julia Straus – who will continue to lead the brand and will report to Hoffman

“We founded Sweaty Betty in 1998 with the purpose to empower women through fitness, and today we are delighted to have found the right partner in Wolverine Worldwide, a company that is perfectly positioned to support the acceleration of our mission. We’re so proud to have built an incredible community of active women who inspire us daily and are excited to see this powerful and supportive community grow worldwide.”

  • Tamara Hill-Norton and Simon Hill-Norton, Founders of Sweaty Betty