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Adidas May Buy U.S. Rival Reebok

From Reuters

German sporting goods company Adidas-Salomon is close to a deal to buy its U.S. rival Reebok International Ltd. in a deal worth more than $3 billion, according to newspaper reports today.

The two companies have held discussions but no agreement has been reached, Britain’s Financial Times said, citing people familiar with the matter.

Another report on the Wall Street Journal website cited an unnamed person familiar with the situation as saying Adidas was near a deal to buy Reebok.

Reebok stock surged as much as 16%, to $51 a share, in after-hours trading Tuesday. The stock closed at $43.95, up $1.19, in regular trading.

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The Financial Times said a takeover of Reebok would double Adidas’ share of the U.S. athletic shoe market to 20%, close to that of market leader Nike Inc.

The report said it was unclear whether the talks were still ongoing or whether any deal would be reached.

No one could immediately be reached for comment at Adidas’ London office. No one at Reebok was available for comment.

Adidas, the world’s No. 2 sporting goods maker, is trying to build its U.S. market share, the company’s U.S. head, Erich Stamminger, told a German newspaper in June.

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In May, Adidas sold its ailing winter sport brand Salomon to Finland’s Amer Sports Corp. in a deal worth about $592.7 million.

Analysts expect Adidas to give a positive second-quarter report today, with European orders lifted by demand for products linked to the 2006 World Cup soccer tournament in Germany.


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