By Liz White, UT staffHerzogenaurach, Germany-In a deal which creates a €9000 million footprint in global athletic footwear," Adidas-Salomon AG has acquired US competitor Reebok International Ltd.The transaction is valued at €3100 million ($3800 million) and will add positively to Adidas's earnings in the first year, the group said. Combining the two footwear groups furthers German-based Adidas' strategy of being more competitive worldwide in trainers, sportwear and hardware, indicated Adidas' statement on the takeover.A combined Adidas-Rebok will have extended geographic reach and more balanced sales profile." North America represents about 50 percent of the global sporting goods market: with Reebok, the Adidas Group's North American sales will more than double to €3100 million. Adidas said its also expects to use its stronger brand recognition and expertise in Europe and Asia to further develop Reebok's global presence.The combined entity will also have a more complete portfolio of brands that caters to a global consumer base and a more complete product offering in key sports categories," said Adidas. In particular, Adidas will gain a stronger presence in American sports. Adidas-Reebok will cover all key sports categories: soccer, basketball, running, American football, hockey, tennis, training, outdoor and golf.Adidas said it will also have enhanced R&D capabilities and cutting-edge technology. Urethanes Technology recently covered one novel R&D development by Adidas: use of thermoplastic polyurethane 'spring' devices in its trainers (see link below). Adding Reebok's North American fashion and sports trainer brands to Adidas's mix of high-performance athletic trainers and fashion wear gives a group with well-defined and complementary brand identities, a wider range of products, and an even stronger presence," said Adidas' statement on the buy. Today's announcement represents a major strategic milestone for our Group," said Adidas-Salomon chairman and CEO Herbert Hainer. Adidas-Salomon and Reebok are energetic and growing companies with a shared commitment to innovation, sport performance and sport lifestyle. Together, we will expand our geographic reach, particularly in North America, and create a footwear, apparel and hardware offering that addresses a broader spectrum of consumers and demographics," Hainer said. Adidas is the perfect partner for Reebok," said Paul Fireman, Reebok chairman and CEO. As an aspirational global sports performance and lifestyle brand, Reebok's mission is to enroll global youth through sports, music and technology. This complements Adidas's mission to be the leading sports brand in the world with a focus on performance and international presence," he added. "