Umbro IPO Has Lackluster Opening; Fitness Walking, Stretching Top Senior Fitness Pursuits; Ajay Sports Seeks New COO; Retro Jerseys Turn Up In German Discount Chain; VF Completes Acquisition of Napapijri Brand.
Shorts: Gander Mountain.
Umbro IPO Has Lackluster Opening
Umbro went public on the London Exchange at 100 pence per share ($1.8379). This gave the soccer apparel firm a market capitalization of $265.6 million. The pricing was much below the expected offering price of 150-190 pence. That would have valued the company at $325.3-$371.3 million. The stock closed on Friday 109.50 pence. Venture capitalist Doughty Hanson owned 83% of Umbro before the offering, but now controls a 57.4% interest. The shares sold represented 35% of Umbro's outstanding shares. Proceeds will be used to pay accrued dividends, redeem preferred shares and pay the IPO costs.
Fitness Walking, Stretching Top Senior Fitness Pursuits
According to SGMA's most recent analysis of the Superstudy of Sports Participation (conducted by American Sports Data), 13 out of the top 15 most popular sports/athletic activities for seniors are fitness and/or outdoor pursuits. (This information is derived from the SGMA Superstudy of Sports Participation])
Most Popular Sports for US Seniors Based on "Frequent" Participation (Age 55+ and older)
Ajay Sports said Thomas Itin will assume responsibilities of interim COO and that subsidiary, Pro Golf of America, Inc., will accelerate its search to replace Joe White. He resigned positions as director/COO/consultant to Pro Golf of America and Ajay Sports, effective immediately, to pursue personal business interests and to spend more time with his family. Ajay Sports, Inc. operates Pro Golf of America, the largest retail chain of franchised golf stores in the world, and ProGolf.com, Inc., licensee for the e-commerce business of Pro Golf of America, whose website is www.progolf.com.
Retro Jerseys Turn Up In German Discount Chain
Aldi Süd, a German discount chain, regularly offers soccer shoes, clothes, shin guards and balls. But now it is selling retro shirts that are similar to the adidas shirts of the German national teams of 1954, 1974 and 1990. The shirts cost 9.99 euros, or $12.23 (7.99 euro, or $9.78 for children's sizes). Of course, adidas is not amused. For the first time, the name of the Deutscher Fussball-Bund (DFB) appeared on textiles. Officials of the DFB stated that it had not given a license to Aldi. But a DFB-licensee sold the products to Aldi, which was its right according to the contract with the DFB. It seems adidas was not informed about the contract. DFB promised that such "accidents" will not happen in the future and would not only protect adidas> With the World Cup in 2006 in Germany, the DFB is very interested in not diluting the value of the DFB brand. (Source: SAZ)
VF Completes Acquisition of Napapijri Brand
VF has completed its acquisition of Green Sport Monte Bianco S.p.A. ("Green Sport"), which designs and markets premium casual outdoor apparel under the Napapijri brand. Green Sport will become part of VF's International Outdoor division, headed by Karl Heinz Salzburger, president of VF's International Outdoor division. Mike Egeck, president of VF's Outdoor - North America division, will have responsibility for the Napapijri brand in the US. Green Sport, which generated sales of $76 million in 2003, is expected to contribute approximately $50 million to VF's sales in 2004 and could be slightly accretive to earnings per share this year. "We continue to see the opportunity for double-digit growth for the Napapijri brand, both throughout Europe and in the US," said Eric "“Our Outdoor coalition is now composed of four very strong growth brands: The North Face, JanSport, Eastpak and now Napapijri, and we look forward to continuing to build upon this strong platform."
Shorts: Three companies initiated Coverage of Gander Mountain. Piper Jaffray and William Blair rated it as outperform. Banc of America Securities rated it a buy. All three companies were the underwriters of GMTN’s IPO.