Adidas has drawn up a shortlist of five candidates for the acquisition of Reebok, according to Reuters, asking them to submit their bids by August. The only strategic investor on the list is Wolverine Worlwide, owner of Merrell and some 15 other shoe brands. It has reportedly proposed to take over Reebok in combination with the rapidly expanding Authentic Brands Group (ABG), whose brand portfolio includes Airwalk, Prince, Spyder, Tretorn, Volcom and many other sports, lifestyle and retail brands.

According to Reuters, the other candidates selected by Adidas are four institutional investors: Advent International, CVC Capital Partners, Sycamore Partners and Cerberus Capital Management. The latter has a history of involvement with Fila. It recently failed in an attempt to take over Dorel Industries, which owns many important brands of bicycles.

As previously indicated, the current purchase price for Reebok has been estimated at around $1.2 billion, well below the $3.8 billion paid by Adidas for its acquisition in 2006. Two Reebok assets, Rockport and CCM Hockey, were subsequently sold.

In confirming its intention to go ahead with the divestment of Reebok, Adidas’ CEO, Kasper Rorsted, said in February: “After careful consideration, we have come to the conclusion that Reebok and Adidas will be able to significantly better realize their growth potential independently of each other. We will work diligently in the coming months to ensure a successful future for the Reebok brand and the team behind it.”

According to reports circulated late last year, the list of potential bidders also included Anta Sports Products, VF Corp. and an African American rap mogul, Percy “Master P” Miller, in partnership with a retired NBA star, Baron Davis.