Nike puts Umbro up for sale

Nike has announced plans to sell Umbro, the kit supplier to the England football team, deeming it surplus to requirements after four years of ownership.

Umbro: deal with Football Association to 2018
Umbro: deal with Football Association to 2018

The sports manufacturing giant has also put leather goods retailer Cole Haan on the block.

Nike bought Umbro in October 2007 for £285m when it wanted to strengthen its presence in the football market and compete with other football brands such as adidas and Puma.

Mark Parker, Nike president and chief executive, said at the time: "Umbro is a brand with a powerful heritage and deep experience in the world's most popular sport and the world's biggest football market. With its close links to The Football Association and the England team, Umbro's future is even stronger than its past."

Yesterday he said: "We see tremendous opportunity to accelerate profitable growth around the world by continuing to deliver innovation and inspire consumers through the Nike brand. We also see significant potential in Jordan, Converse and Hurley, which have unique consumer relationships that complement the Nike Brand.

He added: "Divesting of Umbro and Cole Haan will allow us to focus our resources on the highest-potential opportunities for Nike, Inc. to continue to drive sustainable, profitable growth for our shareholders."

Umbro was founded in 1924 in Wilmslow, Cheshire, as Humphreys Brothers Clothing. It first manufactured England kits back in 1952 and its current contract stretches through to 2018.

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