By  on March 4, 2008

CAST YOUR BALLOTS: Today's presidential primaries could be decisive ones for Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and John McCain, but the fashion crowd has a little more time to play with to vote for this year's Council of Fashion Designer of America awards. The deadline for the strictly electronic nominations is Wednesday at 11:59 p.m.

AEFFE BUYBACK: Aeffe SpA shareholders on Monday approved a buyback program, authorizing the Italian fashion group to purchase and use up to 10 percent of its shares. Aeffe, which operates the Alberta Ferretti, Moschino and Pollini brands, and produces collections for Jean Paul Gaultier, said the buyback would run on a rolling basis for a maximum of 18 months and enable Aeffe to implement strategic investments or other extraordinary financial operations. The company is believed to be eyeing an acquisition in the luxury men's wear market. Aeffe added the buyback would also allow it to stabilize its stock price, which, despite recovering some 9 percent over the last month, is still down more than 20 percent this year. Aeffe's stock closed down 0.9 percent Monday to 2.20 euros, or $3.34 at current exchange. The company was listed on the Milan Stock Exchange STAR segment for small companies in July.

TWO SIDES SETTLE: Genesco Inc. and Finish Line Inc. said Monday that they are ending their legal battle over the merger of the two companies. In anticipation of the settlement, the companies requested a one-day delay in the start of a solvency trial that was to begin in New York. According to the proposed settlement terms, Finish Line and its financier, UBS, will pay Genesco an aggregate of $175 million in cash, along with 12 percent of Finish Line's outstanding common stock. In June, Genesco agreed to be acquired by Finish Line for $1.5 billion, but Finish Line pulled out of the deal after Genesco reported disappointing earnings. The settlement still needs to be approved by each firm's board, both of which were set to meet on Monday.

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