Nike improves FA terms to secure Umbro kit deal

LONDON - Sports manufacturer Nike has renegotiated Umbro's kit supplier deal with the Football Association as part of its proposed takeover of the company.

Last week, the Umbro board unanimously advised its shareholders to accept an offer of 193.06p per share, valuing the firm at £285m. According to sports marketing experts, Umbro's kit deal with the FA was one of the key motivations for Nike's takeover of the brand.

A spokesman from Nike said that the FA had effectively allowed the deal to proceed by waiving a 'change of control' clause in its contract with Umbro. Nike has agreed to 'improved' terms with the governing body, but the spokesman would not give details or comment on whether it would take it beyond its existing deal, which ends in 2014.

Nike's proposed takeover has been welcomed by the FA and Umbro as it will allow the latter to take advantage of its parent firm's superior distribution channels and marketing muscle.

Last week, Brian Barwick, chief executive of the FA, said: 'We are delighted that the deal will allow us to continue our relationship with Umbro, while benefiting from the marketing expertise and financial strength of Nike.'

Earlier this year, Umbro cited poor sales of its replica shirts as the reason behind a revision of its profits forecast from £30m to £22m. Its shares opened 4% down after England's Euro 2008 defeat to Russia earlier this month, but rose on the news it had received a takeover approach.

Umbro has supplied the England football team's kit for more than 20 years.

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