Investors are suing Adidas because the company was aware of Kanye West's questionable behavior for years before the termination of their collaboration. The lawsuit was filed on Friday in federal court in Oregon.
Following a decade-long partnership, Kanye lost his contract with the German sportswear giant last October due to a string of anti-semitic remarks posted on social media by Kanye. The company called Kanye's comments "unacceptable, hateful, and dangerous" at the time.
The case, which references an article from the Wall Street Journal, claims that Adidas executives spoke about the dangers of extending their partnership with Kanye West as early as 2018.
A 2018 annual report, according to investors, "ignored serious issues" with the collaboration and the possible danger to shareholders by "generally alluding" to the hazards "rather than stating that the company had considered ending the partnership as a result of Kanye's behaviour." The lawsuit claims that the business concealed Kayne's anti-semitic comments in front of Adidas employees.
"We outright reject these unfounded claims and will take necessary measures to vigorously defend ourselves against them," Claudia Lange, vice-pre president of external communication at Adidas, said in an email sent to the Associated Press on Sunday.
Kanye is not identified as a defendant in the case, which aims to speak for investors who purchased Adidas stocks between May 3, 2018, and February 21, 2023. Kanye is currently being sued by two former Donda Academy teachers who claim wrongful termination and discrimination. However, their case is not related to the Adidas litigation. The teachers allege to have seen students eating sushi while seated on the floor and children receiving only one meal a day. Byers and Hailey also claim that their paychecks were unjustly withheld from them and were subjected to racial discrimination. Kanye established the institution in 2022 as a private Christian school.
The Implication of Kanye's Deal Termination
The German sportswear giant also announced an anticipated short-term negative impact of up to £217 million on the company's net income. Kanye created the hugely popular Yeezy collection while working with Adidas. The lawsuits filed on Friday claimed that the Yeezy shoe sales surpassed $1 billion by 2019.
Adidas has lost hundreds of millions of Dollars since severing ties with Kanye. In the final three months of 2022, the partnership termination cost the company £1.1 billion in missed sales, contributing to a net loss of £444 million. In contrast to the decline, partly blamed on rising supply prices and declining sales in China, the fourth quarter of 2021 saw a profit of £213 million.
Investors are now suing Adidas, claiming that the company failed to disclose the risk of terminating their partnership with Kanye.