Fila Targets U.S. Market

NEW YORK — Having raised nearly $100 million from its IPO last week, Fila Korea Ltd. now plans to use some of that money to help Fila USA grab

market share.

For starters, it will ramp up new product offerings. Next week, the brand will bow a line of toning apparel called Fila Body Toning System, said Jennifer Estabrook, EVP of business operations at Fila USA. And later this month, it will add a “grassroots performance basketball initiative” that will focus on footwear.

For spring ’11, Fila’s product lineup includes a new range of performance tennis shoes, a line of training apparel for both men and women, and a footwear, accessories and apparel collection for its 100th anniversary, said Estabrook.

“At this moment, the U.S. business is in a growth mode. The strategic changes made to the brand over the past three years have worked beyond expectations, leading the momentum that the brand is experiencing right now,” Fila USA said in a statement. “The IPO proceeds will help fund that growth.”

Fila Korea offered 3.25 million shares at an initial offering price of 35,000 won, or $30.69 at current exchange, on South Korea’s Kospi Index last Tuesday.

The stock nearly doubled to 68,700 won, or $60.24, by close of trading, raising a total of about 113.8 billion won, or $99.8 million. Meanwhile, the benchmark index fell 0.3 percent.

Fila Korea will also use proceeds from the stock sale to pay down remaining debt from its $400 million acquisition of the worldwide rights to the brand in January 2007.

Global sales of Fila rose 26 percent to $544 million in the first half of 2010, from $431 million a year earlier, The Korea Times reported last month. Revenue from the U.S. division rose to $45 million, from $36 million.

Fila Korea’s 2010 second-quarter earnings per share were 5,176 won, or $4.54, five times more than the 955 won, or 84 cents, made in the same period a year ago.

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