UK sportswear chain Sports Direct International has increased investments in two of the major brands it stocks, Adidas and Umbro, as it awaits shareholder approval for its Everlast merger later this month.

Sports Direct reported to the London Stock Exchange that it held 7,265,118 ordinary shares, or 4.97% of the voting rights, in Umbro.

It also announced in an interim statement yesterday (10 September) that the group had this year made strategic investments in Amer and Adidas of GBP82m and GPB180m respectively.

The company also said yesterday that it intends to build on its Everlast merger with further acquisitions.

Sports Direct's founder Mike Ashley bought and sold a 3.14% stake in German manufacturer Adidas Group earlier this year, in a deal that UK newspaper The Financial Times estimated would bring in around EUR43m (US$58.1m) for him, over the space of just two months.