Adidas slides as traders say top investor GBL plans to sell part of stake

Business

Boxes of Adidas shoes are pictured in the warehouse of local footwear retailer “Pomp It Up” in Bussigny near Lausanne, Switzerland 24 Aprill, 2019. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

(Reuters) – Adidas shares fell 1.5% on Wednesday on expectations that one of the German sportswear firm’s top shareholders, Groupe Bruxelles Lambert (GBL), was preparing to sell a portion of its stake, three traders said.

Belgian investment firm GBL was placing a tenth of its 7.5% holding, or 1.37 million shares, at 257.75 euros ($292.11) on the market for sale, a 1.7% discount to Tuesday’s closing price, the traders added.

GBL and Adidas, whose shares hit record highs on Tuesday, were not immediately available for comment.

At 0801 GMT, Adidas shares were down 2% at 256.9 euros and lagging the broader DAX index, which was down 0.3%.

GBL, founded by Belgium’s richest man Albert Frere, who died in December at the age of 92, first invested in Adidas in 2015 with the purchase of a 3% stake.

GBL also holds stakes in some of Europe’s biggest companies, including Pernod Ricard, LafargeHolcim and Total.

Reporting by Thyagaraju Adinarayan; additional reporting by Helen Reid in LONDON, Philip Blenkinsop in BRUSSELS and Emma Thomasson in BERLIN; writing by Josephine Mason; editing by Alexander Smith

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