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Reebok shareholders approve Adidas deal

Reebok International Ltd. shareholders yesterday approved the sneaker and apparel maker's $3.8 billion acquisition by Adidas-Salomon AG, a friendly takeover the companies hope to close next week -- less than six months after it was announced.

Reebok had hoped for speedy approval, in part to end uncertainty over the merger partners' plans for marketing their shoe brands under a combined company, which has hurt orders from Reebok's retailers.

Reebok shareholders' approval at the company's headquarters in Canton was the final hurdle for a deal that won EU regulatory approval Tuesday.

More than 98 percent of the votes were cast in favor of the deal. Adidas' $59-per-share offer is hefty 34 percent premium over Reebok's price before the deal was announced in August. Reebok shares rose 3 cents to $58.96 yesterday.

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