The chief executive of sporting goods maker Puma said Monday that it expects to do well without any partners but welcomes any potential investors -- an apparent allusion to rumors that rival Nike is mulling a takeover.
In an interview with CNBC Europe, Jochen Zeitz said Herzogenaurach-based Puma has a clear strategy for the coming years and predicts that it will do fine without any outside help.
"But if someone wants to invest in Puma, they are always welcome," he said.
Puma shares have been rising in the past few weeks on market rumors that Beaverton, Oregon-based Nike, the market leader in sporting goods, was interested in acquiring the company in response to Adidas AG's $3.8 billion acquisition last year of Reebok International.
Puma shares rose from 255 euros ($334.20) in October to a peak of 293.11 euros ($384.15) last month. On Monday, Puma shares were up more than half a percent to 292.56 euros ($383.43) in Frankfurt trading.
Nike has never said whether it was interested in acquiring Puma outright or taking a stake in the company.
Puma outfitted 12 teams at the soccer World Cup this year, including champion Italy.
Looking ahead, the company plans to focus its advertising more on print and the Internet than on television.
"Advertising will be focused less on sports events and more on the lifestyle and fashion environment," Zeitz told CNBC.