NEW YORK — Cerberus, an investment firm here with an $8.5 billion fund and a hankering for acquiring middle-market distressed businesses, is said to be closing in on the purchase of Fila.

Sources said Thursday the company initially made a bid last fall and is now "pretty far down the road" in terms of wrapping it up. Cerberus executives have recently been spotted in Biella, Italy, where Fila is headquartered. Some say a deal could be completed within a few days or a month. "By June" is the official word from Fila, which declined further comment.

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