• PERSHING PAUSES ON TARGET: Pershing Square Capital Management LP said Monday it will defer talks with Target Corp. about Pershing’s proposed spin-off from a real estate investment trust until next year. On Friday, Target rejected a revised plan from Pershing’s William Ackman, calling for the retailer to spin off a REIT consisting of the land on which Target’s stores sit, and sell about 20 percent of it through an initial public offering. Target said the “potential value created, if any, is highly speculative and insufficient to merit pursuit of a transaction given the costs, strategic and operating risks and loss of financial flexibility.” On Monday, Ackman disputed that argument and noted, “We intend to pursue the matter in the new year, after the holiday season.”
This story first appeared in the November 25, 2008 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
• IT HOLDING UP AND DOWN: Standard & Poor’s upgraded IT Holding SpA’s credit rating to “CC” from “SD” on Monday, but it had little impact on investor confidence. The debt-ridden Italian fashion group, which owns the Gianfranco Ferré, Malo and Extè brands and operates under license the Just Cavalli, Costume National C’N’C and Galliano labels, continued to slide on the Milan Bourse, falling almost 4 percent to 0.17 euros, or 21 cents, in early afternoon trading. The outlook remains negative.
• LIQUIDATING STEVE & BARRY’S: A Manhattan bankruptcy court judge gave Steve & Barry’s the go-ahead on Monday to begin liquidating inventory at the chain’s remaining 173 doors. “Time is of the essence in commencing the store closing sales,” Judge Martin Glenn wrote in his ruling. “The debtors would suffer from immediate and irreparable harm if they were not permitted to start the store closing sales now.” The ruling allows the bankrupt retailer to take advantage of holiday gift buying with its going-out-of-business sales.