• BULGARI SHARES FALL: Shares in Bulgari SpA fell the most in more than five years on the Milan Bourse Monday. The decline came after the Italian jeweler on Friday narrowed its full-year guidance to the lower end of estimates following a drop in second-quarter earnings. HSBC was among bank and securities firms to cut ratings or share price estimates on the stock, downgrading Bulgari to “neutral.” “The bulk of the downward revision is coming from the watch segment, which we believe will be the most impacted by the economic slowdown,” HSBC analyst Antoine Belge wrote in a note. Bulgari closed down 8.3 percent to 6.33 euros, or $9.86 at current exchange. Following the close of trading on Friday, Bulgari reported that second-quarter profits fell 8.8 percent to 31.4 million euros, or $49.1 million at average exchange.
This story first appeared in the August 5, 2008 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
• HAMPSHIRE, KUTTNER PEACE DEAL: Hampshire Group Ltd. and its former chief executive officer Ludwig Kuttner have resolved their dispute concerning Kuttner’s alleged fraud, mismanagement and tax evasion during his tenure. The company has purchased almost 2.4 million shares of its common stock, about 30 percent of those outstanding, from Kuttner, his family and an affiliate for $5 a share, or a total of almost $12 million. Pursuant to the purchase, Kuttner paid Hampshire nearly $1.6 million, netting the former chief executive and his family and affiliates about $10.4 million. Both Kuttner’s complaint against Hampshire for wrongful discharge and Hampshire’s suit against Kuttner have been withdrawn. Michael Jackson, Hampshire’s chairman, said “the resolution of the arbitration and the Delaware litigation with Mr. Kuttner will eliminate both an ongoing cost and the burden that litigation imposes on Hampshire stockholders and management.” Kuttner was dismissed in 2006.
• BURANIS TO INCREASE HOLDING: Italy’s Mariella Burani Fashion Group SpA said Monday that controlling shareholder the Burani family was finalizing a public tender offer for a further 15 to 18 percent of the company at a price of 17 euros, or $26.47 at current exchange, to 18 euros, or $28.03, a share. Mariella Burani said last month that the family would create a special-purpose vehicle for part or all of the outstanding stock, which could lead to a delisting from the Milan Stock Exchange STAR segment for small companies. Mariella Burani closed down 3.5 percent to 15.50 euros, or $24.13.