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SBD Global/October 25, 2012/Finance

Nike To Sell Umbro For $225M To Iconix Brand Group By Year's End

Man City keeper Joe Hart sports his Umbro kit.
Iconix Brand Group has agreed to buy Nike’s Umbro sports apparel and footwear unit for $225M in cash, "marking the fashion brand’s second deal with the U.S. sportswear group," according to Anjli Raval of the FINANCIAL TIMES. Umbro, the U.K.-based brand that sponsors the England football team kit, will now be passed over to Iconix, the second-largest licensing company in the world, with $12B in global retail sales. Nike bought Umbro in '08 for £285M. However, Nike "failed to revive the 80-year-old football brand as it had done with Converse," and revenues fell to $224M last year from $276M in '06. Financial services company DA Davidson Analyst Andrew Burns said, “Umbro and Cole Haan were already unprofitable and excluded from Nike’s quarterly results, so I don’t think it matters to the stock. They already have over $2B of cash on hand, so the $225M won’t have an impact” (FINANCIAL TIMES, 10/24). The London DAILY MAIL reported that Iconix "could lease the Umbro name" to retailer Sports Direct. Iconix CEO Neal Cole said, ''Umbro is an exciting acquisition with more than 30 licensees in over 100 countries with a devout following" (DAILY MAIL, 10/24).

PARTING WAYS: Nike President & CEO 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” (THE DAILY). In Portland, Allan Brettman noted Nike recently announced it had signed England's national football team to a footwear and apparel deal. The announcement was “curious as Umbro had been the team's supplier for years, and that partnership had been perceived as one of the selling points for Umbro.” Nike announced its Umbro purchase in Oct. '07 and “completed it in '08” for $565M in cash. The purchase was the “first and only acquisition for Parker" since his appointment in '06 Credit Suisse Analyst Christian Buss noted when the Umbro and Cole Haan sales plans were announced that Umbro's revenue “declined about 19%” from $276M to $224M between ‘06 and ‘11 “because of its lesser role in the competition between Nike and adidas soccer brands” (Portland OREGONIAN, 10/24).

STILL KICKIN' IT: In N.Y., Michael de la Merced wrote selling Umbro “will not leave the company without a presence" in the global football market: it still sells the Nike Football line of gear (N.Y. TIMES, 10/24). The WALL STREET JOURNAL’s Shelly Banjo reported Iconix “owns or licenses more than two dozen brands,” including Ed Hardy and Candies, and “had bought Starter from Nike in '07.” Nike over the past few years has been “unloading its smaller brands to focus on its namesake and Jordan brands” (WSJ, 10/24).
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Finance, United Kingdom, Nike

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