FILA BUYS REMAINING STAKE IN U.K. DIVISION

NEW YORK — Fila Holding SpA has acquired the 40 percent stake in Fila U.K. Ltd. that it didn’t already own, from Blacks Leisure Group for about $18.2 million.
Fila U.K. will now be operated as a wholly owned subsidiary of Fila Holding, which is based in Biella, Italy.
The British operation’s 1999 sales were approximately $90.8 million. Dollar figures have been converted from the British pound at current exchange.
Fila said that the acquisition of its U.K. distributor would provide for a “further strengthening of Fila’s position and future growth in the United Kingdom, as well as the possibility to add the U.K. market to the group’s supply chain global structure allowing for future synergies.”
Fila noted that the British operation had the highest growth rate of any of the company’s within Fila’s group of licensees and franchisees with a compounded annualized growth rate of more than 30 percent in the last four years. Its operating profits have averaged 15 percent of sales.
Michele Scannavini, chief executive, said in a statement, “This transaction opens new business opportunities for Fila in the most important European market for our sector, where Fila already holds a 5 percent market share although its potential has not been fully expressed yet.”
Fila’s international sales in 1999 were $942 million, 51 percent of which were generated by footwear and 49 percent by apparel.
Italy accounts for 10 percent of revenues, the U.S. for between 20 and 25 percent, and the remaining 65 to 70 percent from other international markets.
Fila U.K. becomes one of approximately 20 worldwide subsidiaries operated by Fila, a major producer and marketer of footwear and apparel for sports and casualwear.

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