Amer Sports Oyj, the Helsinki-based manufacturer of brands like Atomic, Armada, Arc’teryx and Salomon, among a number of others, confirmed that it received a buyout offer of more than $5 billion from Chinese firm Anta Sports this week.
Anta Sports already owns the ski brand Descente and an industry analyst told Bloomberg that the newly acquired brands would complement its existing holdings well. Especially, the analyst pointed out, with Beijing getting set to host the 2020 Olympic Winter Games.
No final decision has been made on the sale yet, but it’s an interesting next step in China’s coordinated attempt to become a bigger player in worldwide entertainment industries. Just last month, The New York Times carried an article suggesting that another Chinese firm’s push to build a large indoor ski resort in Australia may be a part of a larger play at world domination.
These brands have changed hands among holding companies a number of times before, suggesting the sale is unlikely to have any direct major effects on the products they produce. Atomic and Salomon were last purchased from Adidas in 2005. But with Chinese firms’ cozy relationship to the state, the country’s concerted effort to purchase gear manufacturers, build facilities and win the right to host events, could certainly be seen as a move to project soft power through powder.