Adidas Buy Five Ten for $25,000,000

Following from last year's buy out of Black Diamond (see news from 2010 on Climbingnarc) by the Clarus Corporation, yesterday saw another major announcement in the climbing business world. The huge Adidas group has signed an agreement to gobble up Five Ten, one of the leading climbing shoe brands and a worldwide climbers' favourite.

Charles Cole, President and founder of Five Ten, at the Outdoor Show  © Mick Ryan -
Charles Cole, President and founder of Five Ten, at the Outdoor Show
© Mick Ryan -

"...the adidas Group expects sales in the outdoor segment to exceed €500 million by 2015 based on organic growth..."

Whilst this positive financial forecast may be music to the ears of the outdoor industry, the climbers on the crag are more worried about having three stripes on their Anasazis:

"Call me shallow, but if they lose the 5.10 name in favour of adidas or attempt to put go faster chav stripes on my footwear I will be jumping ship be fore you can say anti distinctly minty .... Fortunately there is plenty to choose from these days." commented David Peters in the UKC Forums.

It does seem unlikely that the Five Ten brand will change significantly under the guidance of Adidas, and the press release from the two organisations makes clear that they will continue to be performance focused.

The Adidas Group, who also own Reebok, and owned Arc'teryx between the years 2001 and 2005 are no stranger to the climbing world, and over the last couple of years we have witnessed them focus in on the outdoor sector, with a growing presence at the industry trade-shows at Friedrichshafen and Munich.

Back in 2009 Adidas sponsored the Huber Brothers, two of the world's top climbers, starting their strategy to move in to the climbing/outdoor market.

Alex and Thomas Huber, top climbers sponsored by Adidas  © Courtesy of Adidas
Alex and Thomas Huber, top climbers sponsored by Adidas
© Courtesy of Adidas

Press release from Adidas:

Herzogenaurach / Redlands, California, November 03, 2011 – The adidas Group today announced that it has signed a share purchase agreement to acquire Five Ten, a leading performance brand in outdoor action sports. The adidas Group intends to purchase the entire Five Ten business, which includes all of the issued share capital of Five Ten USA. The total purchase price is USD 25 million in cash at closing and contingent payments, which are dependent on Five Ten achieving certain performance measures over the next three years. The transaction is expected to close in the next couple of weeks.

As part of its Strategic Business Plan Route 2015, the adidas Group expects sales in the outdoor segment to exceed € 500 million by 2015 based on organic growth. Through the acquisition of Five Ten, the adidas Group will be even better positioned towards the goal to become a leading player in the outdoor market.

“We are very excited to join forces with Five Ten. Five Ten is a leading brand in the technical outdoor market and within the outdoor action sport community. Climbers, mountain bikers and other outdoor athletes around the world highly value their products,” said Rolf Reinschmidt, Senior Vice President adidas Outdoor. “Five Ten has continuously been at the forefront of innovations and shares the same passion for athletes as we do at adidas. It represents an excellent addition to the adidas Outdoor portfolio and will allow us to expand into complementary market segments. This acquisition underscores our clear commitment to the outdoors and our ambition to play a leading role in the outdoor industry going forward. I am very much looking forward to working on this journey together with Charles Cole, Founder and President of Five Ten.”

“The deal provides exciting prospects for Five Ten. Supported by the adidas Group, we can finally reach the full potential that the 'Brand of the Brave' has to offer,” commented Charles Cole, Founder and President of Five Ten. “Here at Five Ten, we like the philosophy of adidas' founder Adi Dassler, with his focus on product quality and in doing whatever is necessary to give the athlete the advantage. adidas has the same principles of putting athletes and performance first that have guided Five Ten for nearly 30 years and we are thrilled to be partnering with them.”

Five Ten has been at the forefront of innovation in the technical outdoor market since the day Stealth, a revolutionary high-friction rubber compound, was created in 1985. Today, the Stealth product family includes more than half a dozen award-winning compounds that provide the highest friction to athletes in various conditions. The Five Ten Elite Team consists of some of the world's most exciting athletes such as Dean Potter, National Geographic's 2011 athlete of the year, JT Holmes, champion big-mountain skier and Suz Graham, the most versatile and progressive female action sports athlete in the world.

adidas is the athletic brand in the outdoors. It has a long history in innovative outdoor products including highlights such as the 'Super Trekking', the first light trekking shoe, being worn by climbing legend Reinhold Messner for his first Everest ascent without oxygen support in 1978. Its award-winning TERREX collection offers lightweight, technical equipment to athletes in the outdoors. The tradition of adidas founder Adi Dassler, who worked individually with athletes to make them better, continues today. adidas Outdoor has teamed up with top outdoor athletes like the Huber Brothers (Climbing, Germany), Beat Kammerlander (Climbing, Austria) and Barbara Zangerl (Climbing, Austria) as well as prestigious organizations such as Zermatt Alpin Center (Switzerland) and Ragni di Lecco (Italy).

About the adidas Group
The adidas Group is one of the global leaders within the sporting goods industry, offering a broad range of products around the core brands: adidas, Reebok, TaylorMade, Rockport and Reebok-CCM Hockey. Headquartered in Herzogenaurach, Germany, the Group has more than 46,000 employees and generated sales of € 12 billion in 2010.

About Five Ten
Five Ten is a family-owned company that is dedicated to making the best outdoor sports footwear available. It offers innovative products to athletes in categories such as climbing and mountain biking. Five Ten was founded by Charles Cole in 1985, is located in Redlands, California and employs 37 people. In 2011, annual net sales are expected to be approximately € 16 million excluding distributor business in Japan and Korea.

4 Nov, 2011
Employs 37 people - is this enough to run a shoe factory, or is the reality that their manufacture is outsourced?
4 Nov, 2011
"If they put three stripes on my 5.10s I'm jumping ship" Clearly fit and performance matter more than brands to whoever came up with that! Or is a big brand like adidas just not hip enough for the crag? R

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