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Nike To Sell Cole Haan & UMBRO - Divesting Process To Begin Immediately

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Nike announced this morning that it plans to sell its Cole Hann and Umbro brands in order to focus on its core business lines, Nike Sportswear, Jordan, Converse, and Hurley. Nike will begin the process immediately and expects to be completed with the transition by this time next year, which the Beaverton, Oregon-based brand hopes will bouy their rising supplies costs just as demand continues to rise for its Swoosh-marked clothing and shoes. "Divesting of Umbro and Cole Haan will allow us to focus our resources on the highest-potential opportunities for NIKE, Inc. to continue to drive sustainable, profitable growth for our shareholders," said Mark Parker, President & CEO of Nike. Nike bought Cole Haan, which specializes in casual and dress footwear and bags in 1988 while the Manchester, U.K.-based soccer-focused brand, Umbro, came under the Nike umbrella in 2008. Unfortunately, much like their failed attempt with the Starter apparel brand in 2007, Nike continues to face strong headwinds along their path toward unseating the dominate European player, adidas, using brands that have had trouble taking off under their watch.