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adidas Group buys Reebok distribution rights in Russia

May '06
Sporting goods company adidas Group announced that it bought the distribution rights for the Reebok brand in CIS (Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Belarus, Uzbekistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan) from ZAO RBK-Retail, Reebok's Russian distributor.

Effective January 1st 2007 adidas Ltd, Moscow will become the exclusive distributor of Reebok products in CIS and ZAO RBK-Retail will become a key account for the adidas Group. Financial details of the transaction will be kept confidential.

This underscores the Group's strategy to further strengthen its control over its brands globally. Buying out distributors and joint venture partners has proven to be very successful for the Group in recent years.

The adidas business in Italy, for example, has more than doubled since the buyout in 2002 and there have been sizable gains in Turkey, Denmark and Portugal where buyouts also occurred in the last five years. And most importantly, in Japan, where the Group's buyout of a distributor in 1999 allowed the adidas team to more proactively control the brand and take over market leadership in the world's second largest sporting goods market.

Buying out Reebok distributors and joint ventures around the globe is a key component of the integration strategy and will provide the Group with revenue synergies totaling at least €200 million by 2009.

Russia and China have been identified as the countries with the biggest opportunities, providing the vast majority of the revenue growth opportunities expected from the buyout of distributors and joint ventures.

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