– APAX-ESCADA TALKS ON?: Speculation of renewed interest by Apax Partners in an Escada stake have started making the rounds in Germany. On Thursday, the Financial Times Germany reported that the London-based private equity group is in talks with Escada major shareholder Rustam Aksenenko, rather than the Escada board, about buying into the German fashion house. Earlier this month, Escada said negotiations with Apax had been discontinued and at the annual shareholders’ meeting in Munich last week, Escada chief financial officer Markus Schürholz stated that Escada was currently not in talks with any party over a financial interest in the firm. But the Financial Times cited a close source, who said an agreement with Apax was well under way. Former Boss chief executive Bruno Sälzer was again also linked to the proceedings as Apax’s candidate for the top Escada post. Apax Partners declined to comment, as did Escada. Another reliable industry source, however, told WWD there was no basis to the reports.