Five months after it put both Cole Haan and UMBRO up for sale, Nike found a suitor for UMBRO this morning. Nike announced the sale of the UMBRO brand to Iconix Brand Group in a deal around $225 million dollars. Purchased by Nike back in 2008 as a way to diversify its product portfolio and to tap into the lucrative soccer market, UMBRO's sale does just the opposite though a necessary step in streamlining Nike's product offerings. In his statement, Mark Parker, Nike's CEO, said "It is a difficult decision to divest any business, but this action will enable us to focus on our highest-potential growth opportunities," Parker continued "UMBRO has a great heritage, but ultimately, as our category strategy has evolved, we believe Nike Football can serve the needs of footballers both on and off the pitch."
With Neil Cole, older brother to fashion designer Kenneth Cole, at the helm, Iconix Brand Group runs one of the world's most extensive fashion licenses operation. Iconix already owns brands such as Badgley Mischka, Mudd, Mossimo, Marc Ecko, Zoo York, London Fog, Candie's, Ed Hardy and sells to large retailers like Wal-Mart, Targets, and Macy's. Back in 2007, Iconix brought Jay-Z's Rocawear for $204 million and has a stake in Rocawear's later purchases, Artful Dodgers and Pharrell's Billionaire Boys Club.
The sale of UMBRO will be finalize by both sides at the end of this year.