ARMANI’S GOODWILL: The United Nations Refugee Agency Tuesday appointed Giorgio Armani a UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador during the annual “Pavarotti and Friends” concert in Modena, benefiting Angolan refugees in Zambia. ”I have always admired the tireless work of UNHCR,” said Armani, adding, “I am particularly committed to assisting young refugees gain the means to rebuild their lives.” UN High Commissioner for Refugees Ruud Lubbers said in a statement that the ambassadorship was being given to the designer in recognition of his “significant contribution” during the Afghan refugee emergency and his efforts to assist others in a similar predicament. “I was impressed by Giorgio Armani’s rapid and effective mobilization of his company’s resources in response to my emergency appeal for Afghan refugees last year,” said Lubbers. “He was active on several fronts — including fund-raising and drawing public attention to the crisis.” The statement added that Armani will visit refugee camps later this year to learn more about UNHCR’s education and vocational training projects.
SHAREHOLDER PARITY: Kmart Corp.’s shareholders will have their interests represented in the firm’s Chapter 11 proceedings by an equity committee. According to published reports, the trustee in the Kmart bankruptcy has authorized formation of a committee which should help level the playing field between the various groups of debtors with claims on the firm’s assets. Anywhere from seven to 11 Kmart shareholders will sit on the committee which convenes its first organizational meeting on June 14, said the reports. A Kmart spokesman said he wasn’t aware of the trustee’s ruling.
THE VAL NOD: While Marzotto issued a profit warning Monday because of the problems at its Hugo Boss AG subsidiary (see related story above), Consob, Italy’s equivalent of the Securities and Exchange Commission, formally approved its acquisition of Valentino. As reported, Marzotto acquired Valentino from Holding di Partecipazioni Industriali in February, and was expecting a green light from the Italian authorities. A Marzotto spokesman said the company will set up a press and analysts’ conference in “approximately” a couple of weeks to communicate details about the acquisition and projects for Valentino.