Shares in sportswear giant Adidas rose more than six per cent in early trading on reports that a group of investors is interested in buying its Reebok brand for $2.2 billion (£1.4bn)
Hong Kong-based investment firm Jynwel Capital and Abu Dhabi government-affiliated funds are set make an offer "imminently", The Wall Street Journal reported citing sources familiar with the matter.
Adidas bought Reebok for $3.8bn (£2.1bn) hoping the tie-up would give it ammunition against rival Nike. However, both brands have seen a slowdown in sales and, unlike Nike, lost ground in the United States- the world's biggest running shoe market.
"While the deal may appease Adidas investors looking for some quick and easy liquidity, it would be something of an admittance of defeat in Adidas' global and North American strategy," John Copestake, retail analyst at The Economist Intelligence Unit said.
Adidas also lost the battle for the World Cup to Nike despite being the official sponsor. The sneakers giant reported a sharp increase in profits for the quarter as Adidas conceded its targets for 2015 were no longer achievable citing market turbulence in Russia and slashed its outlook for the year.
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The German company now expects mid-to- high-single-digit sales growth for 2014 on a currency-neutral basis, down from high-single-digit. Earlier this month, Adidas announced plans to return as much as 1.5 billion euros to shareholders over the next three years.Reuse content