BERLIN, DPA – Sporting goods manufacturer Adidas has found a buyer for US brand Reebok, which has been up for sale for some time.

The German company said in a statement on Thursday it had reached a definitive agreement to sell Reebok to Authentic Brands Group (ABG) for a total purchase price of up to 2.1 billion euros ($A3.4 billion).

The majority of the purchase price will be paid in cash upon the closing of the transaction.

The deal is expected to close in the first quarter of 2022, it said.

Adidas plans to distribute the majority of the cash proceeds to its shareholders.

The company’s DAX-listed shares rose sharply after the transaction was announced.

Adidas had acquired Reebok under the direction of then-chief executive and current Bayern Munich president Herbert Hainer, paying about 3.1 billion euros.

In the 15 years together, however, the US brand had never been able to make the contribution to group profits that Adidas had initially envisaged.

For its part, Reebok had complained that Adidas was continuing to develop its own brand and paying too little attention to the second brand.

In recent months, an illustrious circle of bidders had sought to acquire Reebok but AGB won out.

Among others, media reports said US basketball icon Shaquille O’Neal was among Reebok’s suitors.