By Published on .

An investor group led by Adidas Chairman Robert Louis-Dreyfus last week exercised an option to buy the German sports shoe and sportswear group.

The move follows Mr. Louis-Dreyfus' success in helping turn the company around with some of the marketing expertise he picked up during his three years as chief executive of Saatchi & Saatchi Co.

Now Mr. Louis-Dreyfus is likely to continue fattening Adidas' earnings and take it public in the next couple years for a sizable profit.

The French executive already held a 15% stake with other investors when he joined Adidas in April 1993 as the company announced a $95.3 million loss for the previous year. Mr. Louis-Dreyfus' plan was to buy the rest of the company, with partners, at the end of 1994 if he was able to stem losses and revitalize the business.

Adidas turned a small profit of $21.8 million in 1993 on sales of about $1.7 billion and is expected to deliver well over $64.2 million in profit for '94.

Mr. Louis-Dreyfus brought new managers into Adidas and approved global advertising by London agency Leagas Delaney.

Adidas International Holding, which controls Adidas, was acquired from French bank Credit Lyonnais and other financial groups by Sogedim, a company Mr. Louis-Dreyfus and his investment partners formed.

Most Popular
In this article: