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Leading UK leisure company ups bid for Everlast

Published: Monday, 02 July 2007   Category: Sport and leisure

Leading UK leisure company Sports Direct International has increased its bid for top US boxing brand Everlast to $182.3m (£90.7m).

The sportswear firm is owned by British billionaire Mike Ashley, who recently invested in Newcastle United Football Club, and has now lifted its valuation of Everlast after rival bidder Hidary, a US-based investment firm, upped its offer over the weekend.

The new Sports Direct deal would earn Everlast shareholders $33 per share, while Hidary's latest bid offers $31.25.

Sports Direct chief executive Dave Forsey said: "This increased offer represents an attractive premium to Hidary's offer and provides Everlast's shareholders with execution and deal certainty."

If successful, the new deal would see the leading UK leisure company add to its portfolio of big-name brands, which also includes Slazenger, Lonsdale and Dunlop.

Mr Ashley founded the firm in 1982, and strong marketing campaigns in the last three years have now taken the company, which now has more than 400 different UK outlets, to the top of the country's sports and leisure sector.ADNFCR-1068-ID-18197621-ADNFCR

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