Japanese sports shoe specialist Asics has distanced itself from reports that it is preparing a joint bid with Nike for Germany's Adidas.

Shares in Adidas on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange increased 3% on Monday (3 December) after reports circulated that Nike and Asics would jointly bid US$15.28bn for the German sports company.

However, industry sources have questioned the likelihood of a deal, pointing out that Nike's market leadership would raise competition concerns.

Asics acknowledged the speculation, but said it had "not considered" tabling a bid for Adidas. Some traders have suggested the rumours were circulated to stimulate share trading.

The rumoured acquisition bid comes as Nike is in the process of acquiring UK-based sportswear company Umbro for about US$582m.