Adidas Buys Fitness App Maker Runtastic to Connect to Athletes

Adidas AG has acquired Runtastic GmbH, whose mobile apps let runners and other athletes analyze their workouts, as the sporting-gear maker tries to use online communities to boost sales and catch up with rivals Nike Inc. and Under Armour Inc.

The deal, for an enterprise value of 220 million euros ($239 million), gives the sportswear maker inroads into Runtastic’s 70 million registered users, who use its smartphone and tablet software to track running, cycling and other pastimes, Adidas said in a statement Wednesday. It’s the latest move by Herzogenaurach, Germany-based Adidas to make up lost ground in the market, and follows Under Armour’s acquisition of two health and fitness apps for $560 million in February.

The transaction “offers the opportunity to grow a highly engaged athlete user base and leverage the power of our broad product portfolio,” Adidas Chief Executive Officer Herbert Hainer said in the statement. The company reports second-quarter earnings tomorrow.

German publisher Axel Springer SE was the majority owner of Pasching, Austria-based Runtastic, with 50.1 percent. Runtastic was founded in 2009 and its co-founders will continue to operate it, Adidas said. Deutsche Bank AG advised Adidas on the deal and Allen & Co. Inc. advised Runtastic.