Adidas nominates major investors to board

Wed Mar 2, 2016 1:22pm EST
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By Emma Thomasson

NUREMBERG, Germany (Reuters) - Adidas (ADSGn.DE: Quote) is proposing that Egyptian tycoon Nassef Sawiris and a representative of Belgium's richest man Albert Frere join its supervisory board after both took significant stakes in the German sportswear group.

Some investors have said the Adidas board, dominated by German consultants and union representatives, lacks the clout of its rival Nike (NKE.N: Quote), whose board of directors includes heavyweights such as Apple (AAPL.O: Quote) chief executive Tim Cook.

Adidas said on Wednesday the supervisory board was proposing that Sawiris and Ian Gallienne, the head of Frere's holding company Groupe Bruxelles Lambert (GBLB.BR: Quote), be elected at the company's May 12 annual general meeting for a three-year term.

"The two candidates not only share our view on the growth prospects for the group, but will also bring a wealth of international experience as well as extensive financial and entrepreneurial expertise to the board," Chairman Igor Landau said.

Sawiris and Frere have both taken stakes of more than 5 percent in the world's second biggest sportswear firm in the last year.

Adidas shares, which are up almost 11 percent this year, closed down 2 percent, underperforming a flat German blue-chip index .GDAXI.

The company is due to present full-year results on Thursday, although it has already reported provisional figures that beat forecasts.

Reuters reported in December that Sawiris had formed a partnership with U.S. investor Mason Hawkins to spur boardroom change and influence strategy at companies they invest in, including Adidas. Hawkins owns 3 percent of Adidas.   Continued...

The Adidas logo on an iron bench is pictured at the flagship store in Berlin, Germany, January 20, 2016.  REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke