British footwear brand Clarks is close to being acquired by Viva China Holdings Ltd, the major shareholder of Chinese sportswear group Li-Ning Co Ltd.
Viva said in an announcement that its extraordinary general meeting on Wednesday approved the Clarks deal, and it expects to acquire up to 51 percent of the latter for 840 million yuan ($125 million).
Viva has already acquired the century-old Italian leather footwear brand Amedeo Testoni earlier this year.
It also acquired affordable luxury brand Bossini, which is listed in Hong Kong, in 2020. Li-Ning plans to expand Bossini’s business into the Chinese mainland.
In China, Li-Ning competes with domestic rival Anta Sportswear Group which has also embarked on a strategy of owning multiple brands to boost sales.
For its part, Viva has been actively expanding its portfolio of apparel and footwear brands. These moves come amid sharp declines in sales of international sportswear brands, including Nike and Adidas.
In 2021, Li-Ning’s net profit increased 136 percent to 4.01 billion yuan on revenue of 22.6 billion yuan, up 56 percent.