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Nike Acquires Umbro for $583 Million
Marketwatch, October 23rd, 2007 4:15PM



There was major news in the soccer business world today as U.S. sportswear giant Nike agreed to buy Umbro of the U.K. According to Marketwatch, the $583 million acquisition was aimed specifically at strengthening the American apparel and shoe company's position in the burgeoning market for soccer merchandise. The deal, the report says, represents a premium of 61 percent on the price of the Umbro stock earlier this month.

Shareholder approval is still pending, however. Nike needs 90 percent of its shareholders to accept the takeover, but Marketwatch says that rivals JJB Sports and Sport Direct International own 10 and 15 percent stakes in Umbro, respectively, which could cause problems.

Importantly for the English national team, Nike has told England's Football Association that Umbro brand will remain the team's uniform supplier. In other words, the Umbro brand is not being supplanted by Nike.

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