Adidas Hands Role to Sawiris as Supervisory Board Enlarged

  • Egyptian billionaire is one of company's largest shareholders
  • Shoemaker expands board to reflect growth, geographies

Adidas AG said it plans to add Nassef Sawiris, Egypt’s richest man, to the supervisory board as the shoemaker enlarges its governing body.

Sawiris, one of the largest shareholders in Adidas, will be put forward for election at May’s annual meeting, the sporting-goods maker said in a statement Wednesday. Ian Gallienne, co-chief executive officer of Groupe Bruxelles Lambert, a holding company linked to Belgian billionaire Albert Frere, has also been nominated. Employees will elect two other members.

Adidas disclosed in October that Sawiris’ NNS Holding owns 6 percent of the voting rights, a position it still holds, according to the company’s website. His ascension to the board was applauded by fellow shareholder Southeastern Asset Management, which said in an e-mailed statement that Sawiris would be an “invaluable addition.” Both investors are known for actively pushing for change at the companies they hold stakes in.

Adidas shares have risen 11 percent this year, helped by the appointment of Henkel AG’s Kasper Rorsted as the next chief executive officer and higher sales and earnings forecasts. The company reports full-year earnings Thursday.

The supervisory board will increase to 16 members from 12, which Adidas said will reflect “the increasing size and internationality of the company’s business.”

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