16 SEP. 2009

Anta Acquires Fila to Build its Brand

The Chinese sportswear company Anta Sports Products Limited recently signed an agreement with the famous footwear producer Belle, planning to acquire two of the group’s subsidiaries. One of them is Full Prospect, which owns and manages Fila.
 Anta is a leading sportswear brand in China, and has been chosen to be the "2009-2012 Sportswear Partner of Chinese Olympic Committee". However, Anta remains a Chinese domestic brand, and at this point they cannot truly compete with international brands. Currently Anta’s market is mainly second- and third-tier cities in China, whereas the first-tier cities are often covered by international brands like Adidas and Nike. 

The main reason why Belle decided to yield Fila to Anta is the company’s lack of experience in China’s domestic footwear market. As for Anta, this acquisition will let the Chinese company capture first-tier consumers by leveraging the brand image and international experience of Fila.

The acquisition of Fila is both an opportunity and a challenge for Anta. On the one hand, it can help Anta reach the higher-positioned market, and join the team of first-tier brands. Moreover, the acquisition of Fila can be an opportunity for Anta to increase its brand awareness and esteem, thereby enhancing its brand equity. On the other hand, there is a large gap between Fila’s and Anta’s brand images, and it could be difficult for Anta to maintain Fila’s status in the global market.

This acquisition is an opportunity for Anta to learn from a “giant” of its industry, and perhaps enter the international market itself in the coming years. Yet, Anta will first have to proof itself domestically by demonstrating that it is able to handle a global-scale brand and maintain its success.

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