Nike has reached an agreement to sell its out-of-favour Starter brand to Iconix Brand Group for US$60m in cash - the latest step in the strategic review of its Exeter Brands Group.

Nike decided to sell off Starter - acquired only in 2004 - as part of the review of Exeter, the sportswear giant's smallest subsidiary. The deal is expected to be finalised in December.

"We're pleased to have found a buyer committed to investing in and growing the Starter brand," said Mark Parker, president and CEO of Nike. "It is a difficult decision to divest any business, but we have found the right buyer and this is the right choice for Nike."

Starter is Exeter's main business, but is a victim of Nike's strategy of reviewing its portfolio of subsidiary brands. The company said it lacked the growth potential of names such as Converse, Cole Haan, Hurley and Nike Golf.

Founded in 1971, Starter was a pioneer of league-licensed apparel, drawing up agreements with leagues including Major League Baseball, the NFL and the NBA.

Iconix chairman and CEO Neil Cole said: "Starter is an iconic brand that diversifies our portfolio of holdings by moving us into the athletic apparel, team sports and athletic footwear categories. It is a brand with a great deal of growth potential, both in the US and around the world, and one to which I am confident that Iconix can quickly add a lot of value."

Meanwhile, Nike said it was continuing to seek a buyer for its Nike Bauer Hockey business, which it also recently announced was to be divested.