• CHIPPING AWAY: Just one week after selling Maska, Fin.part has struck another deal. The company said it has sold off some of its real estate assets, including the Hotel Airth Castle in Scotland, for $36.6 million, or 32 million euros in local currency, to a group of Italian businessmen led by developer Umberto Giupponi. Half of that sum accounts for the assumption of those assets’ debts. Fin.part said the Maska operation and the sale of the real estate unit, Iniziative Immobiliari 2000 SpA, together will reduce its debt by about $59.5 million and that net debt as of June 30 should be “significantly” below $457.6 million. Dollar figures are converted from euros at current exchange. Fin.part has been looking for ways to reduce its net debt, which stood at $465 million at the end of the first quarter. That figure is nearly comparable to the company’s full-year 2002 volume of $524.2 million.

  • PRESSING MATTERS: LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton on Monday named Alain Metternich president of its media division, the DI Group. Metternich, previously president of financial weekly Investir, succeeds Christian Brégou, who leaves the position after two years. DI Group has been part of LVMH since 1994 and includes the financial daily, La Tribune, as well as magazines, a classical radio station, television production, Web sites and an ad agency.

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