Nike has reached agreement on an all-cash offer to acquire Umbro plc. Umbro’s board of directors has unanimously recommended that shareholders accept the offer of 193.06 pence, which together with the declared dividend, values the company at approximately £285 million.
“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,” says Nike Inc president and CEO Mark Parker, “With its close links to The Football Association and the England team, Umbro’s future is even stronger than its past.
“The dynamic alignment of Umbro and Nike, with our complementary strengths and numerous ways to segment and grow the market, will lead the game at every level throughout the world. We are fully committed to helping Umbro reach its full potential and we are delighted that Umbro’s board is unanimous in its support of our offer.”
Since the early 1990s Nike has grown its football revenues from about $40 million to approximately $1.5 billion. Umbro sells products directly or through licensees in more than 90 countries and has sports marketing relationships with many top football players, teams and leagues. The company’s 2006 annual revenues were approximately £149.5 million.
Says Brian Barwick, CEO of The Football Association: “The FA has enjoyed an excellent partnership with Umbro for more than 20 years. We are delighted that the proposed acquisition will allow us to continue our strong historical relationship with Umbro while benefiting from the marketing expertise and financial strength of Nike.
“Nike has provided firm assurances that The FA relationship with Umbro will be protected and enhanced and we look forward to working closely with both companies moving forward.”
Nike says it intends to operate Umbro as a standalone brand, with a focus on accelerating the brand’s existing growth strategy.
Commenting on the agreement, Umbro CEO Steve Makin said: “This is an excellent deal for all our stakeholders. It provides great value for shareholders and exciting prospects for our colleagues, partners and customers around the world. We will be a stronger and better business as part of Nike and this deal will allow us to accelerate our existing growth strategy by leveraging Nike’s global resources and expertise. We look forward to taking Umbro to new levels with Nike’s support.”