(SGI) Pentland announced a couple of weeks ago that it has agreed to buy the perpetual rights to the Speedo brand in North America and the Caribbean and the related operations from PVH Corp. for $170 million in cash, uniting all the brand’s operations around the world under a common umbrella just in time for the Olympic Games in Tokyo, where it will enjoy a lot of public exposure. PVH said it was divesting the business to concentrate on its main global brands, Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger. The group had inherited the North American Speedo license by acquiring Warnaco in 2013. Pentland has long coveted global control of Speedo, the world’s leading swimwear brand and the biggest one in its portfolio ahead of Berghaus, Canterbury, Ellesse, Endura, Mitre and Seevee. It first invested in Speedo in 1990 by acquiring a significant stake in Authentic Fitness, a subsidiary of Warnaco that had the exclusive license for North America. Pentland had just come out of another major deal: the sale of Reebok for around $700 million, with a huge capital gain from its initial investment of $77,500 for a 55 percent stake. It soon bought 80 percent of Speedo’s Europe subsidiary, and then acquired Speedo Australia and the parent company, Speedo International. Speedo was founded in Sydney in 1914 by a Scottish milkman, Alexander MacRae, who made a fortune producing underwear and selling socks to the Australian Army. Its swimwear was named Speedo in 1928 after a contest among his staff. Warnaco took the rights for North America in the 1950s in exchange for an Australian license for its White Stag skiwear line. More in SGI Europe.