NEW AT ESPRIT: Esprit Holdings Ltd. has named Thomas Grote, former global head of wholesale operations, to be joint global chief operating officer of the Esprit Brands along with Jerome Griffith, who had been an executive director and global head of retail operations. Both posts are new. Based in Düsseldorf, Germany, Grote and Griffith will jointly take on major operational responsibilities for the Esprit brand, including product development, image, logistics and wholesale and retail distribution. They will report to Heinz Krogner, chief executive officer and chief operating officer of Esprit Holdings Ltd. In addition, Esprit has relocated Andreas Adenauder, global business manager of the women’s casual division, to the company’s U.S. headquarters in New York. He will become president of Esprit North America, a new post. Adenauder reports to Krogner.

PRADA SELLS STAKE: Prada Group on Monday sold its 5 percent share in De Rigo to the Italian eyewear manufacturer for $14,017,500, or 2,225,000 shares at $6.30 a share. The transaction is part of De Rigo’s buyback plan. A year ago, Prada bought out De Rigo’s 51 percent stake in their joint venture company, EID (International Eyewear Distribution) and subsequently sold 100 percent of it to Luxottica for $30.4 million.

SPIEGEL CATALOG SOLD: Spiegel Catalog was acquired from Spiegel Inc. by a group of investors for an undisclosed sum, the firm said Monday. The newly formed company, Spiegel Catalog Holdings Corp., will continue operating under the Spiegel name after the deal is closed. Geralynn Madonna, president and ceo of Spiegel Catalog Holdings, said in a statement that “over the past year, we have repositioned Spiegel as the ideal resource for the modern woman. Now under new ownership, Spiegel will once again have the opportunity to prosper and grow.” The investors, described by the company in a statement as “senior management,” partnered with Golden Gate Capital, an equity bank in San Francisco.

HAITI AID: The U.S. would drop duties on Haitian apparel under a measure approved Friday by the Senate in a voice vote. The legislation is seen as a humanitarian effort, since the Caribbean country’s economy is close to collapsing. The measure has yet to go before the House. Haiti still produces some apparel, mostly cotton garments, but it accounts for only 0.7 percent of all apparel imported into the U.S. Under the measure, duties would be waived for seven years, pending annual renewal by the U.S. President based on whether Haiti is moving toward a free-market economy.

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