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Jynwel Capital, a Hong Kong based private equity investor, and funds affiliated with the government of Abu Dhabi plan to make an offer to Adidas’s directors “imminently,” the Wall Street Journal said, citing people familiar with the matter. Adidas spokeswoman Katja Schreiber declined to comment. Jynwel Capital constantly evaluates investment opportunities, though doesn’t comment on speculation, a spokeswoman said by e mail.

Reebok has weighed on Adidas since being acquired by the Herzogenaurach, Germany based company for $3.8 billion in 2006. After helping make step aerobics a staple in gyms two decades ago, the brand has fallen on hard times, with its share of the sportswear market sliding. Reebok is seeking to reposition itself as a leader in fitness gear after being replaced as the National Football League’s apparel supplier in 2012.

“While the deal may appease Adidas investors looking for some quick and easy liquidity, it would be something of an admittance of defeat in Adidas’s global and North American strategy,” Jon Copestake, an analyst at the Economist Intelligence Unit, said by e mail.

‘A Surprise’

It’s unclear which Abu Dhabi fund would join Jynwel in its Reebok bid, the Journal said. The group plans to maintain the brand’s strategy and provide more financing for marketing and new stores, while keeping Reebok’s executives, according to the report. The investors first approached Reebok’s management about making an investment late last year, the Journal said.

The company has had a difficult year, with its shares tumbling 38 percent amid tough competition from Nike Inc. and Under Armour Inc., and a declining market for golf gear. In July, the company scrapped its profit forecast for the year and abandoned long standing sales and profit targets for 2015.
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