KOBE, Japan—Sumitomo Rubber Industries has completed the acquisition of the Dunlop brand from the Shirebrook, England-based Sports Direct International plc.
The company announced in December the $137.5 million agreement to acquire trademark rights to the Dunlop brand. Also as a result of the agreement, Sumitomo's tire business will shift from licensee to licensor of Dunlop branded tires in 86 countries.
Goodyear controls, with some exceptions, the rights to the Dunlop brand for tires in North America and Europe as part of the dissolution in 2015 of the SRI-Goodyear global alliance.
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 also expands Sumitomo's rights to all products except those already owned by other licensees, the company said.
With the acquisition, a new company, Dunlop International Co. Ltd., was set up Feb. 1. Headquartered in Kobe, the company is a joint venture between Sumitomo, (66.7 percent) and its sports business subsidiary, Dunlop Sports Co. Ltd. (33.3 percent).
Dunlop International Co. Ltd. will operate and manage the newly acquired sporting goods and licensing business. As a whole, Sumitomo said it will work to create strategies to enhance the global value of the Dunlop brand and improve "profitability of our entire group, including this new business venture."
The firm previously said the deal would have no impact on Sumitomo Rubber Group's existing tire business.