Chinese sportswear giant Anta has acquired 75.13% of shares from MAIA ACTIVE, a Shanghai-based women-centric sportswear brand. The price of the acquisition was not disclosed.
Established in Shanghai in 2016, MAIA ACTIVE specialises in sportswear in Asian sizing and fitting, as well as an innovative proprietary fabric that it calls a ‘second skin’. The brand was considered China’s answer to Lululemon upon launch and has received multiple rounds of financing. In 2022, MAIA ACTIVE‘s revenue grew 29.63% year-on-year to 55.8 billion RMB (7.63 billion USD).
A Mckinsey report indicates that women in China ‘spend 15 to 20 percent more on sports and fitness than men’ and local brands such as Anta and Li-Ning are aggressively competing for this market. The Canadian Brand Lululemon, on the other hand, enjoyed a 61% year-on-year growth in China during the second quarter with a quarterly revenue of 277 million USD.
In an official announcement, Anta stated that the MAIA ACTIVE acquisition ‘greatly complements the women’s segment of the group, strengthening our ability to meet the consumers’ diversified demands’.
Indeed, Anta has been trying to tap into female buying power for years. FILA, another one of Anta’s subsidiaries, started the Glam Fitness initiative promoting their yoga pants last year, trying to woo female consumers. Descent, another member of the Anta group, just released the Body Flex series of women’s sportswear this June.
Acquiring a female-focused brand like MAIA ACTIVE will strongly bolster Anta’s effort to bank on the ‘she economy’ of sportswear in China.