Tapie rules out Adidas sale after Pentland exit

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The Independent Online
BERNARD TAPIE, the chief executive of Adidas, said yesterday that the sportswear group was no longer for sale after Pentland of Britain pulled out of a planned buyout.

Mr Tapie, interviewed in the financial daily Les Echos, said: 'Get it into your head that we are no longer selling.' He said that his Fr100m ( pounds 12m) share of the necessary capital injection was 'well within my means'.

Pentland's decision not to proceed with a pounds 215m agreement to buy the company after inspecting its accounts has once again focused attention on the business affairs of Mr Tapie, France's most famous entrepreneur-turned-politician.

In May, Mr Tapie resigned after seven weeks as Minister for Towns in the Socialist government of Pierre Beregovoy after a former business associate lodged a complaint against him.

On Wednesday this week, police in Marseilles inspected files at the offices of the Olympique Marseille soccer club, of which Mr Tapie is president.

In another interview, with the Marseilles newspaper Le Provencal yesterday, Mr Tapie said that, although he now intended to keep control of Adidas, he would not participate in its management. This meant that he could abide by a decision to devote himself to politics. He said it would be 'surprising' if he did not stand in parliamentary elections next March and in municipal elections in 1995, a clear hint that he was considering running for mayor of Marseilles.

He said that Pentland, which already had 20 per cent of Adidas, had conducted an audit of the company and 'there is not a single difference between the results of this audit and what we said in July' when the deal was originally struck.

'Pentland does this every time,' Mr Tapie added. 'Two years ago, it wanted to buy Parker Pen and asked for a lower price. Parker said it was no longer for sale.'

(Photograph omitted)

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