Nike offload Umbro for €173m

Football kit-maker Umbro was today sold by its owner Nike to an American clothing giant for $225m (€173m).

Nike offload Umbro for €173m

Football kit-maker Umbro was today sold by its owner Nike to an American clothing giant for $225m (€173m).

Cheadle-based Umbro, which was taken private by Nike in a £285m (€220m) takeover in 2007, will be sold to Iconix Brand Group, the owner of Madonna’s Material Girl label and rapper Jay-Z’s Rocawear.

Aside from an eight-year stretch between 1974 and 1982, Umbro has made every England football kit since the 1950s, although this contract was lost in August to Nike.

Umbro, which reported annual revenues of $224m (€172m) last year, also made the kit for the Ireland national team and last season’s Premier League champions Manchester City.

Founded in 1924, Umbro has more than 30 licensees in more than 100 countries.

Nike president and chief executive Mark Parker said: “Umbro has a great heritage, but ultimately, as our category strategy has evolved, we believe Nike Football can serve the needs of footballers both on and off the pitch.”

Nike previously announced its intention to divest itself of Umbro and Cole Haan to sharpen its focus on driving growth in the Nike, Jordan, Converse and Hurley brands.

New York-based Iconix also owns 80% of Peanuts Worldwide, the company behind the Peanuts comic strip featuring Charlie Brown and Snoopy.

It owns 29 consumer brands in the fashion, athletic, electronic, entertainment and home industries.

After the Umbro acquisition, the company’s brands will generate around $13bn (€10bn) in retail sales globally.

Neil Cole, Iconix chief executive, said: “Umbro is a true, authentic football brand with a global loyal consumer fan base and we are thrilled to be adding it to our portfolio of iconic brands.

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