- JONES BUYS INTEREST IN LICENSEE: Jones Apparel Group Inc. has acquired a minority interest in GRI Group Ltd., the exclusive licensee of several of Jones' brands in Asia, including Nine West, Anne Klein New York, AK Anne Klein, Easy Spirit, Enzo Angiolini and Joan and David. GRI, a privately held international brand management and retail-distribution group, operates more than 600 points of sale in 12 Asian countries. In addition to Jones brands, it distributes labels such as Pringle of Scotland, Steve Madden, Lucky Brand Jeans and Izod. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
- ANN TAYLOR STAKE: Adage Capital Partners, a Boston-based investment group, has increased its stake in AnnTaylor Stores Corp. to more than 3.4 million shares, or 5.8 percent of those outstanding, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The company owned about 2.4 million shares as of its quarterly filing with the SEC on March 31. Adage said its stake was for investment purposes only and not to influence a change in ownership. As of March 31, the company had holdings in excess of $16 billion in a range of companies, including Wal-Mart Stores Inc., Target Corp., The TJX Cos., Dillard's, Chico's FAS and Coldwater Creek. Calls to Adage seeking comment weren't returned.
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