Adidas: Reebok – good bargain

German Adidas Company is due to buy rival sporting goods firm Reebok in a deal worth 3.1 billion euros, Adidas said on Wednesday as it posted a forecast-beating second-quarter profit.

Adidas, the global number two in the sporting goods industry after Nike, is buying all outstanding shares of Reebok, the number three, for $59 per share in cash, Adidas said in a statement.

The deal, expected to close in the first half of 2006, is pending the approval of Reebok shareholders and anti-trust authorities.

Adidas also said its net income in the second quarter rose by 33 percent to 94 million euros, when adjusted for the sale of its ailing winter sports brand Salomon to Finland's Amer Sports. The figure was above analysts' average estimate of 86 million euros, Reuters reports.

Sales rose by 8.2 percent to 1.52 billion euros, which was also slightly above the average estimate of 1.49 billion euros, driven by growth in all regions except Europe.

For 2005, the Bavarian firm predicted that net income attributable to shareholders from continuing and discontinued operations would rise by 20 percent.

News of the Reebok deal came one week after Adidas's smaller rival Puma unveiled plans to close the gap on Adidas and Nike by making acquisitions and entering new markets.

Adidas is based in Herzogenaurach, Germany.

Both Adidas and Reebok declined to comment, Xinhua informs.

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