KELLWOOD CLOSES SMART SHIRTS DEAL: Kellwood Co. has completed the sale of its Smart Shirts manufacturing operations and related real estate assets in two separate transactions. Kellwood received approximately $121 million in cash at closing from the sale of the Smart Shirts business from Youngor Group Co. Ltd., and approximately $41 million in cash from Bright Treasure Development Ltd. for Smart Shirts’ real estate assets in Hong Kong. The proceeds from the transactions will be used to repurchase shares and reduce debt, including the $80 million accelerated share repurchase program that Kellwood announced on Jan. 3. UBS Investment Bank acted as financial adviser to Kellwood in connection with the Smart Shirts sale.
FOREIGN INVESTMENTS SURGE: Boosted by a strong world economy, increased corporate profits and an abundance of cash for cross-border mergers and acquisitions, global foreign direct investment in 2007 reached an estimated record $1.5 trillion, a United Nations agency said Tuesday. The U.S. maintained its position as the largest recipient of FDI with $192 billion, up 10 percent on the previous year. FDI inflows to developing countries and economies in transition also reached a record $438.4 billion, with China the biggest recipient with $67.3 billion. FDI gains were also posted by Brazil at $37.4 billion, up 99.3 percent on 2006; Hong Kong, up nearly 27 percent to $54.4 billion, and Russia, which registered a 70.3 percent increase to $48.9 billion.
GOLD STANDARD: Flaxen-haired tennis player — and self-professed bag lover — Maria Sharapova announced the launch of the Sharapova Gold bag collection with Prince. Sharapova will tote the gold nylon bags accented in black at next week’s Australian Open. “In my opinion, players should head to the court with equipment that not only delivers in terms of quality and design, but also looks great,” said Sharapova in a statement. The collection will range from $50 to $120 wherever Prince products are sold.