Sole searching: Geox billionaire steps into Diadora

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The Independent Online

Mario Moretti Polegato, the Italian shoe magnate who owns Geox, has stretched his footprint further with last week's deal to buy Diadora, Italy's famous but debt-laden sportswear brand. Mr Polegato is not revealing how much he paid but apparently Diadora comes with about €70m (£59m) of debt.

But Mr Polegato, who according to Forbes is one of the world's wealthiest men, hopes to turn the brand around by integrating it with Geox, which in 12 years has become one of Europe's fastest growing companies. Worth about $9bn (£5.5bn) today, Mr Polegato started Geox because he was so fed up with stinky feet that he came up with the "breathable" material.