Shaquille O’Neal is sneaking up on the shoe business.
“I would love to buy Reebok,” O’Neal said Thursday in an interview with “CNBC Make It.”
The retired basketball star’s résumé is already quite extensive: actor, rapper, sports analyst, investor and Papa John’s board member. He’s even dabbled in fashion with Peerless Clothing’s Shaquille O’Neal Collection and his XLG men’s clothing line at J.C. Penney.
But perhaps O’Neal’s recent comments were just him feeling nostalgic. He does have a history with Reebok, after all. Back in 1992, O’Neal — and his size 20 feet — were signed to endorse Reebok’s “Shaq Attaq.”
O’Neal’s basketball stardom made the blue, black and white high-tops, the colors of his team at the time, the Orlando Magic, an instant hit. You see, back then both Reebok and O’Neal were at the top of their game. Then Adidas came along and courted Reebok, acquiring the company for $3.8 billion, and positioning itself to compete with rival Nike.
That was a move that O’Neal said “diluted [Reebok] so much to where it’s almost gone.
“I want to bring them back to basketball and to fitness,” he added.
But the shopping spree might be short-lived. Representatives from Reebok declined to comment on queries as to whether the company is actually for sale.
If it is, however, the price tag would likely be in the billions. Parent company Adidas has a market cap of 53 billion euros. That’s nearly $60 billion. Last quarter, the company sold $420 million of goods in its Reebok business.
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