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Columbia Sportswear in China JV

Oregon-based Columbia Sportswear Company will strengthen presence in China with new joint venture with Swire Resources.

Columbia Sportswear Company, which manufactures outdoor apparel, footwear, accessories and equipment, has entered into an agreement with Swire Resources to expand the Columbia brand and to further establish and grow the Mountain Hardwear brand in China.

Swire Resources, a subsidiary of Swire Pacific, has operated as Columbia Sportswear’s exclusive independent distributor of Columbia and Mountain Hardwear branded products in China since 2004, and in Hong Kong and Macau since 2002.

In China, Swire sells to a network of wholesale dealers that, at June 30, operated approximately 530 Columbia Sportswear retail locations and 45 Mountain Hardwear retail locations in 135 cities. In addition, Swire directly operates more than 70 Columbia branded retail locations in seven cities.

The new joint venture is expected to begin operations January 1, 2014 with headquarters in Shanghai. Columbia will own 60 per cent of the joint venture, Swire 40 per cent.

The joint venture carries an initial term of 20 years and includes a provision for the purchase or sale of the minority interest any time after the fifth year.

“Swire’s expertise and deep understanding of Chinese consumers are vital to driving continued growth of our brands in this important market,” said Tim Boyle, Columbia’s president and CEO.

Swire Pacific executive director of trading and industrial division, JB Rae-Smith, said the company’s new joint venture with Columbia Sportswear provides critical resources to capitalise on China’s expanding economy, increasing consumer discretionary incomes, and greater interest in outdoor leisure activities.

Swire Resources will continue to serve as the exclusive independent distributor of Columbia Sportswear in Hong Kong and Macau.

Swire Resources also owns Hong Kong sportswear brands Marathon Sports and GigaSports.


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