20 Sep 2009

Adidas and Puma to end 60-year feud

10:34 am on 20 September 2009

German sportswear companies Puma and Adidas are to end a feud started 60 years ago by their founding brothers.

Adi and Rudolf Dassler started making sports shoes together in their mother's wash-room in the 1920s.

They fell out during World War II and founded companies on either side of a river in southern Germany in 1948. The town of Herzogenaurach in Bavaria has been split ever since: residents are loyal to one or other of the only major employers there.

On Monday, 21 September, employees of both companies will shake hands and then play a football match.

In a joint statement, the two companies said the events will be the first joint activities they have held since the brothers left their shared business in 1948.

The BBC reports neither group is now controlled by the descendants of its founding families.

Since 2007, Puma has been majority-owned by PPR, the French luxury goods maker that also owns Gucci.

Adidas Group is much more widely-owned, with no individual shareholder having more than 5%.