PARIS Adidas AG said it is launching a 420 million euro, or $613.2 million, share buyback program.


The sportswear behemoth said that, as part of a program started Wednesday, it would purchase up to 5 percent of the company’s capital, up to 10,182,248 shares, exclusively through the stock exchange, and cancel repurchased shares, thereby reducing its share capital.


Adidas said that it may also use some of the shares to meet obligations linked with a share option program for employees.


The buyback, which was authorized at the firm’s annual meeting last May, can be extended should the company obtain a new authorization at its next general meeting May 8.