Sportswear leader adidas has bought out the distribution rights for the recently-acquired Reebok brand in Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) countries Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Belarus, Uzbekistan, Armenia and Azerbaijan.

The deal, part of a recently announced strategy to draw in Reebok's businesses, makes adidas Moscow the exclusive distributor of Reebok products in the countries from 1 January next year.

Previously license-holder ZAO RBK-Retail will be a key account for the adidas Group. ZAO has been Reebok's distribution partner since 1999.

adidas said it is not providing financial details of the transaction, which it said "underscores the group's strategy to further strengthen its control over its brands globally".

"Buying out distributors and joint venture partners has proven to be very successful for the group in recent years. The adidas business in Italy, for example, has more than doubled since the buyout in 2002".

The company said its Japanese distributor buyout in 1999 had helped it to take over market leadership in the world's second-largest sporting goods market.

"Buying out Reebok distributors and joint ventures around the globe is a key component of the integration strategy and will provide the group with revenue synergies totalling at least EUR200m (US$254.32) by 2009."

adidas has identified Russia and China as the countries with the biggest revenue growth opportunities from buyouts.

adidas chairman and CEO Herbert Hainer this week said the group had knocked arch rival Nike from the top sportswear market spot.