The Adidas Group said Wednesday it has bought Austrian-based health and fitness app-maker Runtastic GmbH from publishing house Axel Springer and other shareholders for an enterprise value of 220 million euros, or $240 million at current exchange.
The acquisition fits into the German sportswear company’s strategy of harnessing technology to improve performance through initiatives including sports science, sensor technology, wearables and digital communication platforms.
“Runtastic’s vision for 2020 that every individual lives a more aware and active lifestyle leading to a longer, happier life means the Adidas Group has found a perfect partner that fully understands the potential of the convergence of sport, digital and data in an always connected and always on-demand world,” Adidas said.
Founded in 2009 and headquartered near Linz, Austria, Runtastic is available in 18 languages and has around 70 million registered users. It offers more than 20 apps covering a variety of endurance, health and fitness activities.
Axel Springer SE, through its subsidiary Axel Springer Digital Ventures GmbH, owned 50.1 percent of Runtastic’s capital. Other main shareholders included company founders Florian Gschwandtner, Alfred Luger, René Giretzlehner and Christian Kaar, who will remain at the management helm.
“Digital technologies are providing new capabilities and insights to help athletes of all levels take control of their sporting destiny — whether improving their performance, sharing their experiences or creating their own great social moments of sport,” said Herbert Hainer, chief executive officer of Adidas.
“This investment will add considerable value on our journey to deliver new world-class sports experiences. In addition, it offers the opportunity to grow a highly engaged athlete user base and leverage the power of our broad product portfolio,” he added.
Gschwandtner, ceo and cofounder of Runtastic, said Adidas was eager to leverage the business.
“By bringing cutting-edge input from our leading position in the digital space to one of the great world leaders in the sports and fitness industry, I am personally looking forward to pleasing and surprising new and loyal users with the best products in the world,” he said.
The transaction was signed and closed on Wednesday. Deutsche Bank acted as financial adviser to Adidas, and Ashurst LLP and Schoenherr served as legal counsel. Allen & Company LLC provided financial advice to Runtastic and Milbank Tweed Hadley & McCloy LLP and 42law acted as legal counsel.
Adidas is set to publish second-quarter results on Thursday.