FEDERAL JUDGE STOPS BIDERMANN FROM SELLING MAJORITY STAKE

NEW YORK--A federal judge here Tuesday temporarily barred Maurice Bidermann from selling or diluting his majority stake in Bidermann SA, threatening to disrupt the proposed sale of the company to two French investors.
The judge also scheduled a hearing in Manhattan Federal Court for 4 p.m. today to decide if Bidermann should be permanently enjoined.
At the heart of the matter is a $13 million claim held by Rexnord Holdings, which in the court action is claiming any dilution of Bidermann's stake in Bidermann SA would harm its claim.
The deal between Bidermann and Alain Némarcq and Leo Gross, in which the two investors will gain a 55 percent stake in the holding company in exchange for a $24 million cash infusion was announced in France last week. In addition, the deal requires that Bidermann Industries, Bidermann's U.S. operation, which is licensed to produce Ralph Lauren Womenswear, be separated from the holding company.

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