STEVE & BARRY’S DELAYED: Another day, another delay for the sale of bankrupt retail chain Steve & Barry’s. The hearing for bankruptcy court approval of the impending sale was postponed for a third time Wednesday. A source with knowledge of the negotiations said Bay Harbour Management is still the likely buyer, but that delays were required to allow the parties extra time to hammer out the deal’s finer points. The New York investment firm was announced as the stalking horse bidder earlier this month with an offer of $163 million. A hearing for court approval of the planned sale to Bay Harbour is now set for 11 a.m. today in a Manhattan bankruptcy court. Meanwhile, lawyers for professional basketball player Stephon Marbury’s Starbury brand filed legal papers alleging Steve & Barry’s owed it more that $2.1 million in unpaid royalties, according to documents filed in Manhattan federal court on Monday. The Starbury lawyers are trying to have the case tried out of federal court instead of having it stay under bankruptcy court jurisdiction.
ADIDAS RATING CUT: With the Olympics in full swing, one of its high-visibility sponsors, Adidas AG, saw its stock downgraded by investment firm HSBC. In a research note published Monday, HSBC said the German activewear giant has bright short-term prospects, but the outlook darkens after 2009. “We believe Adidas will feel pressure both on gross margins, from limited pricing power and rising input costs, and on EBIT, from rising advertising and promotion spending,” the report said. “We expect Asian sales growth to moderate in 2009, growth in Europe to halve and see no reason why the U.S. market should not remain more or less flat for the foreseeable future.” The bank cut its rating on Adidas to “underweight” from “neutral.” The change in rating follows a downgrade of Nike Inc. last month.