Nike To Sell Starter Brand For $60 Million

Thursday, November 15th 2007, 11:55 am
By: News On 6

BEAVERTON, Ore. (AP) - Nike Inc. said Thursday it will sell its Starter brand to Iconix Brand Group Inc. for $60 million in cash. Nike acquired Starter, known for its Starter-brand jackets, in 2004. The Beaverton-based company decided to divest Starter as part of a review of its subsidiaries to strengthen an overall growth plan.

The company has set a goal of hitting $23 billion in revenue by 2011 and has said it would realign its business categories to streamline the company and increase efficiency.

Nike is currently trying to sell its Nike Bauer Hockey brand and had previously said it would review Nike's Exeter Brands Group, of which Starter is the main business. Exeter is the smallest subsidiary in Nike's portfolio.

Iconix Chairman and Chief Executive Neil Cole said in a statement the Starter brand will help move the company into the athletic apparel and footwear arena. The deal with Iconix, which owns and licenses apparel and brands such as Candie's, Joe Boxer and Rampage, is expected to be complete in December.

Starter pioneered the league-licensed apparel business through agreements with Major League Baseball, the National Basketball Association, the National Hockey League and the National Football League. Starter products are distributed in the United States primarily through Wal-Mart and internationally through licensees.

“It's a difficult decision to divest any business, but we have found the right buyer and this is the right choice for Nike,” Mark Parker, Nike president and chief executive officer, said in a statement.