Europe Watch: M&S Delivers … Ireland Bound … Tati Tangle
M&S DELIVERS: Marks & Spencer plc signed two new banking facilities Friday, totaling 2 billion pounds, or $3.68 billion at current exchange rates. Combined with the company’s existing resources, they will be used to fund the...
M&S DELIVERS: Marks & Spencer plc signed two new banking facilities Friday, totaling 2 billion pounds, or $3.68 billion at current exchange rates. Combined with the company’s existing resources, they will be used to fund the return of 2.3 billion pounds, or $4.23 billion, to shareholders by way of a tender offer. As reported, Stuart Rose, the retailer’s new chief executive, made the cash promise to shareholders last month to rebuff a takeover attempt by Philip Green. The company said the first facility, for 1.2 billion pounds, or $2.21 billion, matures on Aug. 13, 2009 and is provided by BBVA, BNP Paribas, Citigroup, HSBC, Lloyds TSB and Morgan Stanley as mandated lead arrangers and book-runners, and by Fortis Bank, Rabobank and Standard Chartered as senior lead arrangers. The second facility, for 800 million pounds, or $1.47 billion, is provided by HSBC. The company said this sum will act as a standby facility for use, if necessary, to bridge the period between the return of value to shareholders, and the receipt of the proceeds from the disposal of M&S money. — Ellen Burney
IRELAND BOUND: Hennes & Mauritz plans to bring its fast-fashion brand to the Emerald Isle. The Swedish apparel giant will open its first Irish store, in a shopping center in Dundrum, outside Dublin, in March 2005. H&M also plans to open additional doors in Ireland in 2005, the company said. Once H&M opens in Ireland, it will be present in 21 markets. — Brid Costello
TATI TANGLE: The saga of Tati’s takeover continues. Just days after it was announced that the French discount clothing retailer has a new owner, the decision is being contested. Earlier this month Paris’ commercial court accepted Vetura’s bid of 14.5 million euros, or $17.9 million, for the beleaguered chain, which has been in the French equivalent of Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection since last September. But last week textile company Asiatex — which lost its bid for Tati to Vetura — contested the court’s decision, citing three irregularities that it hopes will cancel the ruling in favor of Vetura. Vetura, meantime, last Monday unveiled its revival plans for Tati. These include introducing its Fabio Lucci fashion brand into the stores that also sell Tati’s signature pink-and-white check pattern. Vetura president Lucien Urano asserted that Tati and Fabio Lucci could become the “hard discount” leaders in France within two to four years. Vetura plans to maintain 23 of the 29 Tati stores and 667 of its 997 employees. Fabio Lucci delivered its first shipment of clothing to the Paris flagship branch of Tati only days after the court ruled in favor of the takeover. Vetura operates 120 stores, 15 of which are located in Portugal and 30 around Paris. — Gretchen Worsley
Harrods plans to remove the famous statue of Princess Diana and Dodi Al Fayed from the bottom of the Egyptian escalators and hand it back to Mohamed Al-Fayed. “We are very proud to have played our role in celebrating the lives of Diana, Princess of Wales and Dodi Al Fayed at Harrods and to have welcomed people from around the world to visit the memorial for the past 20 years,” said Michael Ward, Harrods managing director. “With the announcement of the new official memorial statue to Diana, Princess of Wales at Kensington Palace, we feel that the time is right to return this memorial to Mr. Al Fayed and for the public to be invited to pay their respects at the palace.” More on the news, with reporting by @loreleimarfil, at WWD.com. #wwdnews
@prada is introducing a new project at its men’s fall 2018 show this Sunday: “Prada Invites.” The fashion house invited four celebrated creative minds – @ronanaerwanbouroullec, Konstantin Grcic, @herzogdemeuron and @rem.koolhaas – to each create a unique item with its iconic nylon material. The designs will be unveiled on the runway show, which will take place at the company’s warehouse in Viale Ortles 25. #wwdfashion #mfwm (📷: @martinocarrera)
@kering_official is spinning off its stake in puma in an effort to focus on its luxury brands, the brand operator announced yesterday. “We are proud to have supported the turnaround of Puma, which now has unrivaled capabilities to take full advantage of the specific dynamics of its global markets and is poised to achieve substantial growth,” said François-Henri Pinault, Kering’s chief executive officer and chairman. Artémis will become a “long-term strategic shareholder” of Puma with a 29 percent stake. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
The fashion world mourns for celebrated street style photographer, Nabile Quenum, who died at age 32 in Paris.
Quenum, creator of the fashion blog “J’ai Perdu Ma Veste,” was a fashion week fixture, and regularly shot for New York magazine’s The Cut, among other outlets, and brands such as Louis Vuitton, Moncler and Adidas. He was also actively involved in the #NoFreePhotos initiative, which kicked off in the fall. Read more about Quenum in @kbsmoke's story on WWD.com. #wwdnews
@verwanggang and @maisonladuree have teamed up on a dessert collab called Vera Wang Pour Ladurée. The collection, which launched this week, features a specialty macaroon, as well as a wedding cake inspired by one of the designer’s gowns. “I could not imagine a more delicate or sophisticated creation to grace any couple’s celebration,” said Wang. #wwdfashion