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Pentland Gets %90 of Ellesse for $29.5M

LONDON -- Pentland Group PLC has acquired 90 percent of Ellesse SpA, the Italian sports apparel and footwear group, for $29.5 million (50.6 billion lire at current exchange rates) in cash, the company said Tuesday.<BR><BR>Pentland will change the...

LONDON — Pentland Group PLC has acquired 90 percent of Ellesse SpA, the Italian sports apparel and footwear group, for $29.5 million (50.6 billion lire at current exchange rates) in cash, the company said Tuesday.

Pentland will change the firm’s name to Ellesse International SpA. Leonardo Servadio, Ellesse’s founder, will be chairman of the new company, with a 10 percent stake.

Ellesse had profits before interest and tax of $2.39 million (4.1 billion lire) in 1992. Richard Stevens, a Pentland director, declined to reveal sales figures.

The deal excludes Ellesse activities in the U.S., Canada and Japan. Ellesse U.S.A. and Canada were acquired by Homer and Carol Altice last September from Reebok International.

The U.S. operation had a cooperation agreement with Ellesse SpA covering positioning of the brand, which Stevens said remains in place.

But sourcing and design of the lines remain independent of each other, he said.

Pentland has been the U.K. distributor of Ellesse clothing since 1981 and began sourcing Ellesse footwear in the Far East six years ago when it became the Italian group’s footwear licensee for the U.K.

The British company owns several other international sports brands, including Speedo swimwear, Berghaus outdoor apparel and footwear, Pony footwear, KangaRoos footwear and Brasher Boot.