Andrew Wade, an analyst for Seymour Pierce, a London-based investment bank and strockbroker, said last week he did not believe the fundamentals supported a bid at 150 pence per share.

 

Meanwhile, another analyst, who preferred anonymity, said 160p would be a fair price.

   

Umbro has been working on a strategy that focuses more on football clothing than on England replica shirts.

 

It hopes that by expanding its international business, its financial performance may be smoother when moving from a year with a major football tournament to a non-tournament year.

   

British sports retailer JJB Sports said on Friday it had taken a 10.12 per cent stake in Umbro to safeguard its interest in the market for replica shirts.

   

Nike said Umbro shareholders would also receive the interim dividend of 1.94 pence per share.

   

Umbro's management, led by Steve Makin, its chief executive, is expected to be retained by Nike, which has followed this strategy when buying brands such as Converse, the basketball shoe company.