Puma and adidas end 60-year feud Print E-mail
Written by BBC   
Friday, 18 September 2009 19:36

The 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, probably over political differences, and founded firms on either side of a river in southern Germany.

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

It is a big deal in the cobblestoned Bavarian town of Herzogenaurach, where two of the world's largest sportswear companies are based.

First joint activities

When the brothers set up their separate companies in 1948 the town was also split, with residents loyal to one or other of the only major employers.

In a joint release, the two companies said they were making up to support the Peace One Day organisation, which has its annual non-violence day on Monday.

They say that the events will be the first joint activities held by the two companies since the brothers left their shared firm in 1948.

Neither group is now controlled by the descendants of its founding families, although Rudolf's grandson Frank Dassler raised some eyebrows in the town by working for both Puma and Adidas.

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%.