• ADDIO ARMANI: Italian eyewear giant Luxottica has a new board of directors and it doesn’t include Giorgio Armani. As expected, Luxottica’s shareholders chose not to renew the designer’s tenure on the governing body after a well-publicized split between the parties late last year. At that time, Armani annulled a 14-year licensing pact for eyewear and switched to competitor Safilo. “Armani continues to be a 5 percent shareholder in Luxottica and we have no current plans to divest that stake,” said an Armani spokesman. As for press reports that Armani might be mulling a stake in Safilo, his spokesman characterized the talk as “unfounded speculation.”

  • UNIONS FORM ALLIANCE: UNITE turned to a powerful ally in its drive to organize workers at Cintas Corp., the nation’s leading supplier of commercial uniforms and laundry services. The apparel union said Wednesday in Chicago that it was joining forces with the International Brotherhood of Teamsters in the effort to unionize Cintas’ 17,000 workers. “This revives the labor movement and is necessary to take on corporate bullies like Cintas,” said Teamsters general president James P. Hoffa, referring to the alliance. UNITE has alleged that Cintas has violated labor laws in several instances, including firing workers who had supported unionization. The company also faces a class action suit by truck drivers who claim Cintas deliberately failed to pay them overtime. The Teamsters noted that many of its 1.4 million members wear Cintas uniforms. Cintas has said that it seeks to obey all labor laws and denied illegally firing any workers.

  • RIVAL BIDDER?: Aletheia Partners, the consortium backed by Iranian property tycoon Robert Tchenguiz, said this week that it would put in a formal offer to buy the London-based Selfridges plc by July 4 or withdraw from the bidding. Tchenguiz, whose bid was topped last month by Canadian billionaire Galen Weston’s $1.14 billion offer, confirmed to WWD that his company is continuing to work toward the possibility of making an offer for Selfridges. As reported, Weston extended his bid deadline for the second time last week to Wednesday. A spokeswoman for his company, Oxford Acquisitions Ltd., said that a statement would be issued today announcing how many shares Weston has acquired. It was announced last week that Weston had a total of 29.22 percent of the company, which includes the shares he already owned.

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