Gleiss Lutz advises AEON on further investment in Signa Sports United

Japanese AEON Co. Ltd., one of Asia’s leading retailers, has invested again in Signa Sports United, one of Europe’s leading e-commerce platforms for outdoor and sporting equipment. AEON already acquired a 7.5% stake in Signa Sports in December 2018. With this new investment, AEON is further expanding its strategic activities in the promising Asian growth market for the online retail of sporting goods and equipment.

AEON’s retail network comprises around 300 subsidiaries, from convenience stores and supermarkets to shopping malls and specialist retailers. AEON is the largest developer and operator of shopping malls in Japan. With the new investment in Signa Sports United, AEON has confirmed its strategic partnership with Signa, with the aim of strengthening the position of both companies in the Asian online and multi-channel market.

As the leading e-commerce platform in the categories bike, tennis, outdoor, team sports and athleisure, Signa Sports United currently operates around 80 webshops in 17 countries. With more than 2.5 million active customers and over 200 million website visitors per year, the company is the leader in continental Europe. The Asian market is an attractive growth market for AEON and Signa in the long term. Bike and outdoor in particular are the strongest areas in which Signa is active, both in Europe and Asia, and belong to the categories displaying above-average growth.

AEON was advised on the transaction by Dr. Michael Burian and Dr. Stephan Aubel (both lead, both corporate/M&A, Frankfurt) and Kenta Nishioka (corporate/M&A, Stuttgart).

Gleiss Lutz has a leading Japan practice which frequently advises Japanese companies on transactions in Germany. A Gleiss Lutz team also assisted AEON with its first investment in Signa Sports United.