world''s biggest maker of athletic shoes Nike Inc has agreed
to buy Umbro plc for £285 million ($580 million).
Along with the company, Nike also inherits the contract
to outfit the England national football team and sell replica
offered 193.06 pence ($3.91) in cash for each Umbro share,
a 61 per cent premium to Umbro''s closing price on 17 October,
the day before the company disclosed the takeover.
acquisition will increase Nike''s sales of soccer apparel
by about 10 per cent to $3.4 billion. The US company said
last year it wanted to overtake Adidas AG in soccer sales
by the 2010 World Cup. Umbro owns 1,820 stores in the
UK, and supplies shirts and shorts to six English Premier
is Nike''s first acquisition since its 2004 takeover of
Official Starter Properties LLC for $43 million. Chief
executive officer Mark Parker has sharpened the company''s
focus to six categories, including soccer.
soccer sales were $3.1 billion last year, more than 35
times their 1994 level. Umbro posted sales of £149.5
million for 2006, boosted by last year''s World Cup in
company''s sales are rising by around 10 per cent each
year in eastern Europe, the US, Latin America and China,
as soccer''s popularity increases. Nike has said it will
retain the British company''s brand and headquarters.
European chief Eunan McLaughlin said the company has agreed
to a long-term shirt contract with England''s Football
Association (FA), which approves any new owner of the
rights to the white jersey. Umbro can attach its diamond-shaped
logo to the shirts until 2014.
unsuccessfully challenged Adidas in soccer this year by
trying to take away the German company''s national team
contract after five decades. The US company offered €600
million for an eight-year sponsorship, about six times
more than the present Adidas contract is worth.