Nike kicks off Cole Haan, Umbro auction process-sources

Thu Jun 14, 2012 10:27am EDT

Nike running shoes are seen in Los Angeles, California March 20, 2012. Nike, Inc. plans to release its third quarter fiscal 2012 financial results on March 22. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

Nike running shoes are seen in Los Angeles, California March 20, 2012. Nike, Inc. plans to release its third quarter fiscal 2012 financial results on March 22.

Credit: Reuters/Lucy Nicholson

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(Reuters) - Nike (NKE.N) has kicked off the sales process of its leather handbag maker Cole Haan and soccer gear unit Umbro with a number of parties signing confidentiality agreements, according to sources with knowledge of the auctions.

Nike has hired Goldman Sachs Group Inc (GS.N) to run the process, the sources said. Pitch books are expected to be sent out in July, they said.

Nike and Goldman Sachs declined to comment.

Cole Haan, which was acquired by Nike in 1988 for $80 million, is expected to fetch $400 million to $500 million, the sources said. The potential value of Umbro, which sources said is likely to be a tougher sale, could not be learned.

Potential acquirers for Cole Haan could include footwear company Wolverine Worldwide (WWW.N), branded apparel company, VF Corp (VFC.N) and luxury houses LVMH (LVMH.PA) and Richemont.

Private equity firms that have historically invested in the retail sector such as Golden Gate Capital, Leonard Green and Sycamore Partners could also take a look, the sources said.

VF, LVMH, Richemont, Leonard Green and Sycamore Partners could not be reached for a comment. Wolverine and Golden Gate Capital declined to comment.

Nike purchased Umbro, a soccer gear company, in 2008 for $565 million but has had problems with the brand. In fiscal 2009, Nike recognized a $401.3 million pretax impairment charge to reduce the carrying value of Umbro.

South Korean clothing company E-land and sportswear company Fila could consider Umbro, the sources said.

E-land could not be reached for a comment. Fila declined to comment.

Nike has said it will complete the sales process of both brands by June 2013. The company is looking to shed non-core assets as it focuses on its namesake brand, as well as Jordan, Converse and Hurley.

(Reporting By Olivia Oran and Nadia Damouni; Editing by Maureen Bavdek)

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