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In Brief: Fortunoff Still Seeking Funds … Debt Issue … Star Power …

<B>FORTUNOFF STILL SEEKING FUNDS:</B> Fine jewelry and home furnishings retailer Fortunoff is continuing talks with investment companies to raise capital for expansion, but a spokeswoman for the company denied any knowledge of Apollo Management L.P....

FORTUNOFF STILL SEEKING FUNDS: Fine jewelry and home furnishings retailer Fortunoff is continuing talks with investment companies to raise capital for expansion, but a spokeswoman for the company denied any knowledge of Apollo Management L.P. and its potential bid for the company, as reported in the New York Post Monday. She also declined to comment on whether or not the family-owned firm is up for sale. “We remain engaged in a lot of discussions with the investment community as a whole,” the spokeswoman said. “Our purpose is to create a strong company with deeper financial resources…[The article in the Post] is speculation and gossip. We’re looking at all investment opportunities.” In April, Fortunoff confirmed it had retained investment banker Peter J. Solomon to explore financial opportunities. Apollo representatives declined comment on Monday.

DEBT ISSUE: Movado Group Inc. said on Friday that it issued $20 million worth of unsecured seven-year senior notes, with the proceeds from the sale to be used for payment of maturing debt, funding expansion of Movado boutiques and general corporate uses. The notes, with an interest rate of 4.79 percent a year, will be amortized over four years starting in 2008, when the Paramus, N.J.-based firm will then make semiannual interest payments. The issuance is a drawdown on Movado’s $40 million private shelf debt agreement from March 21, 2001, as amended.

STAR POWER: Gwyneth Paltrow’s Tod’s purse bag and note fetched $4,050, Sarah Jessica Parker’s Andrew Marc jacket and book went for $2,650 and Tommy Hilfiger’s bomber jacket brought in $512 at an online auction sponsored by “Good Morning America” and eBay.com to aid victims of the recent hurricanes. The 10-day auction of some 30 celebrity items brought in a total of $20,565.48, which will go to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund.

TUMI ADDS STORE: Tumi is planning to open its fifth New York unit on Nov. 19. Located at 102 Prince Street in SoHo, the 1,000-square-foot boutique will offer Tumi’s entire collection, which includes women’s and men’s luggage, business cases and leather goods. Steve Lochte from Brand & Allen Architects in San Francisco created the space’s interior, which will feature large, floor-to-ceiling red-and-white wall panels; bamboo and stainless steel details, and the space’s original maple floors and iron columns.