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Last Updated: Thursday, 18 October 2007, 18:00 GMT 19:00 UK
Bid interest for kitmaker Umbro
England players modelling Umbro kit
England's poor performances have not helped kit supplier Umbro
Shares in sportswear firm Umbro soared, ending 27.5% higher after an unnamed suitor made a bid for the firm.

Reuters reported sources close to the matter as saying the suitor was rival Nike but the US firm would not comment on what it called "speculation".

Umbro has struggled recently as poor performances from the England side, which it supplies, and the lack of a big tournament in 2007 have hit sales.

The sportswear market has consolidated since Adidas bought Reebok in 2005.

Tough times

Adidas is now the subject of takeover speculation while French retailer PPR has built up a large stake in German sportswear firm Puma.

In a statement, Umbro said it had received an approach but that this "may or may not lead to an offer being made" for the company.

Umbro provides kit to the England team as well as six Premier League clubs.

Its profits fell 44% in the first six months of the year as it struggled to replicate last year's performance, which was boosted by the football World Cup.



SEE ALSO
Adidas shares bounce on bid talk
18 Apr 07 |  Business
England shirt demand boosts Umbro
06 Jul 06 |  Business

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