Nike Inc. will buy Britain's Umbro for $582 million as the U.S. apparel and shoemaker seeks a larger presence in the global soccer market ahead of the next World Cup.
Nike, through its subsidiary Nike Vapor Ltd., agreed to pay $3.94 in cash for each Umbro share, the companies said Tuesday. Umbro, based in Cheadle, northwest England, designs and markets soccer-related apparel, footwear and equipment sold in more than 90 countries.
Nike has long sought a greater presence in the soccer arena. The Beaverton, Ore.-based company's soccer brand has performed well, growing revenue from about $40 million in the 1990s to about $1.5 billion today.
But it faces stiff competition in the world soccer market, largely from European companies.
Nike has said it wants to be the sport's top brand by the next World Cup in 2010. It has gobbled up deals with key international teams and has an endorsement contract with world soccer star Ronaldinho from Brazil.
Nike recently made an aggressive bid to replace Adidas as outfitter for the German Soccer Federation. German soccer authorities rejected a $680-million offer from Nike and opted to extend a lower-priced contract with Adidas, which is based in Germany.
But Umbro and its 45 international licensees supply uniforms to the national teams of England, Ireland, Sweden and Norway, six English Premier League teams and more than 100 other professional teams globally. It also is the exclusive supplier for the English Football Assn., the governing body for English soccer.