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Nike sets sights on Umbro

US sportswear giant Nike is understood to be the unnamed suitor behind a bid for Umbro, following an announcement yesterday by the business that it had received a buyout approach.

Initial speculation pegged Sports Direct International as the interested party, but recent reports suggest Nike is close is close to launching a bid at 153p.

This would value the Cheshire based replica football kit business, which also sponsors the England team kit, at £220 million.

The announcement of a takeover approach saw Umbro's share price jump from 118p to 153p.

Analysts said private equity houses could also be looking at the business, given its low rating and the fact that it is a well-known brand.

The board of Umbro said they would make another statement in due course. Some industry commentators have questioned whether Nike might face antitrust issues about this bid given that it has invested a great deal in building up its football specialism and that Umbro also concentrates almost exclusively on the sport.

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