• ANOTHER TOUCH OF CLASS: One shareholder class-action lawsuit involving Warnaco may have been settled, but the remaining legal battle needs a new lead plaintiff. The law firm of Lovell Stewart Halebian is seeking candidates to act on behalf of the other shareholders after the original lead plaintiff dropped out of the litigation. As reported, the lawsuit was filed against Warnaco, former chief executive officer Linda Wachner and former chief financial officer William Finkelstein. Also named as defendants were Deloitte & Touche as auditors and Stanley Silverstein, former general counsel. Silverstein is still with the now reorganized Warnaco, but in a different capacity.

  • MAGLI’S MAN: Accessories company Bruno Magli has tapped Luca Ramella as its new chief executive officer. Ramella, a professor at Milan’s Bocconi University and a former managing director at Giorgio Armani’s jeans manufacturer, Simint, replaces Eugenio Morselli. Sources said parent company Opera hopes Ramella will accelerate the expansion of the Magli brand. Based in Bologna, Magli expects sales of $83.8 million, or 70 million euros, this year. The company recently signed a joint venture with Itochu Corp. through which it plans to open 15 sales points in Japan.

  • DONE DEALS: As expected, Jones Apparel Group Inc. Monday completed its acquisition of 100 percent of the common stock of Kasper A.S.L. Ltd., while J.C. Penney Corp. closed the sale of its six-unit department store operation in Mexico and Liz Claiborne Inc. consummated the purchase of all of the equity interest in Enyce Holding LLC. As reported, Jones acquired Kasper — including the brand names Albert Nipon, Anne Klein New York, AK Anne Klein, Kasper and Le Suit — on Aug. 7 during a bankruptcy court auction. The purchase price is $232.5 million, plus the assumption of certain liabilities. As for Penney’s, which sold the division to Grupo Sanborns S.A. de C.V., a Mexico City-based holding company, the transaction is expected to result in a pretax loss of approximately $40 million, but will also contribute positive cash flow of about $25 million. Meanwhile, with the Enyce deal, which cost about $114 million, including the retirement of debt, Claiborne expanded its brand portfolio to 33. Although the acquisition is not expected to affect the firm’s 2003 earnings per share, next year Enyce should be accretive to Claiborne’s earnings by about 5 cents a share.

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