by Stephen Garner

Hong Kong-based Chinese sportswear retailer Xtep International Holdings has completed the acquisition of KSGB, the Los Angeles-based multi-brand company comprising the K-Swiss, Palladium, and Supra brands.

As part of the Xtep family, the KSGB brands will now benefit from the extensive resources within the Xtep Group, including research and development, innovation, supply chain, retail and expertise in the China market, which remains a huge opportunity for the brands. Xtep will be focused on elevating the equity of the brands in the global marketplace with premium positioning and a commitment to quality.

Michael Yuan, president of Xtep Global Brands Group and CEO of KSGB will lead the KSGB business, alongside Xtep corporate development director James Ting as the CFO of KSGB.  Both will be jointly based in Xtep’s global headquarters in Hong Kong and KSGB’s global headquarters in Downtown Los Angeles. 

A newly formed executive committee will manage the day to day operations of KSGB, including Barney Waters, president of K-Swiss; Christophe Mortemousque, president of Palladium; Steve Harden, president of Supra; Helen Hong, vice president of supply chain; and Rhonda Elliott, chief human resources officer, along with Yuan and Ting. The leadership of the Los Angeles office of KSGB will be managed by Waters.

 “With KSGB now part of the Xtep group, we are ready to take these iconic brands to the next level of growth and prosperity,” said Ding Shui Po, founder, chairman and CEO of Xte.

Along with KSGB, Xtep’s Global Brands Group includes the recently announced joint venture agreement with Wolverine World Wide Inc., to grow the Merrell and Saucony brands in mainland China, Hong Kong, and Macau.

Xtep began its business in 1989, producing athletic footwear for other well-known brands, and created the standalone Xtep brand in 2001. The Xtep brand is centered on running but maintains a fashion sportswear brand image, Chinese consumers. The Xtep brand grew over 20 percent in 2018, with retail sales of close to $2 billion across 6,400 Xtep retail stores.