KOBE, Japan—Sumitomo Rubber Industries Ltd. will expand manufacturing, sales and licensing of Dunlop products after striking a $137.5 million deal to acquire overseas trademark rights of the Dunlop brand, including its sporting goods and licensing businesses, from the Shirebrook, England-based Sports Direct International P.L.C.
Sumitomo already owned the rights to Dunlop-branded sports and industrial products in Japan, South Korea and Taiwan, but the new agreement will allow the company to manufacture and sell Dunlop sports products globally. It expands Sumitomo's rights to all products except those already owned by other licensees, the company said.
Dunlop International Co. Ltd., a new entity Sumitomo established along with its sports business subsidiary Dunlop Sports Co. Ltd., will operate the acquired businesses once the deal is finalized. Sumitomo said the deal, once completed, will be positioned to enhance the value of the Dunlop brand worldwide and to pursue further growth of its sporting goods and licensing businesses.
Also as a result of the agreement Sumitomo's tire business will shift from licensee to licensor of Dunlop branded tires in 86 countries. It will own and license Dunlop trademark rights globally, except in Europe, North America, India and Australia, according to Sumitomo.
The firm said the deal will have no impact on Sumitomo Rubber Group's existing tire business.