Nike Steps Up Soccer Presence with Umbro Purchase
Byline: Sarah Skidmore The Associated Press
PORTLAND - Nike Inc. will buy Britain's Umbro PLC for $582 million as the U.S. apparel and shoe maker seeks a larger presence in the global soccer market ahead of the next World Cup.
Nike, through its subsidiary Nike Vapor Ltd., agreed to pay $3.94 in cash for each Umbro share, the companies said Tuesday.
Umbro, based in Cheadle, designs and markets soccer-related apparel, footwear and equipment sold in more than 90 countries. The company reported a net profit of $40.4 million in 2006.
Nike has long sought a greater presence in the soccer arena. The Beaverton company's soccer brand has performed well, growing revenues from about $40 million in the 1990s to approximately $1.5 billion.
But it faces stiff competition in the soccer market, largely from European companies such as adidas.
Nike has said it wants to be the sport's top brand by the next World Cup in 2010. It has gobbled up deals with key international teams and has an endorsement contract with world soccer star Ronaldinho from Brazil.
Nike recently made an aggressive bid to replace adidas as outfitter for the German Soccer Federation. …