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Under Armour will issue shares of new class of stock in April

Under Armour will issue shares of its new, non-voting class of stock in April.

On or about April 7, Under Armour Inc. plans to complete the previously announced stock split that would give each of its shareholders another share of a new nonvoting stock for each one they own, the Baltimore-based athletic apparel brand said Wednesday.

Shareholders voted last August to approve the unusual split, which creates a Class C common stock and is designed to preserve CEO Kevin Plank's personal control over the company even as he sells off some shares.

The company said in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Wednesday that its board of directors approved issuance of the stock.

Class C stock will be issued through a stock dividend to all existing holders of Under Armour's Class A and Class B common stock. Shares will be issued to stockholders of record as of March 28.

The company has applied to list the Class C stock under the UA.C ticker symbol on the New York Stock Exchange. Class A common stock will continue to trade under the UA ticker symbol.

The company has operated with a dual-tier stock structure in which the CEO owns most of the Class B shares, which have 10 times the voting rights of Class A shares. Under the new plan, that structure would end when Plank's ownership dips below 15 percent and all his Class B shares would convert to Class A shares.

During a shareholders meeting last year, Plank argued for the new class of stock as a way to maintain a "founder-led approach" to corporate governance that has resulted in soaring sales, profits and stock value for a decade.

Shares of Under Armour closed down 2 cents Wednesday at $81 each.

lorraine.mirabella@baltsun.com

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