• GADZOOKS GOES SWIMMING: Dallas-based specialty retailer Gadzooks has signed swimwear and watch license agreements with New York-based junior sportswear firm Dollhouse. Under the agreements, Gadzooks will exclusively sell these lines of watches and swimwear under the Dollhouse label in its stores through March and July 2004. Gadzooks operates 428 stores — 424 Gadzooks units and four Orchid stores — in 41 states. Gadzooks also owns and operates gadzooks.com, an interactive site for girls.

  • PERMIRA’S BIG BID: Permira, the U.K.-based venture capital group stalking Debenhams plc, is expected to make a formal offer of $2.4 billion for the department store chain next week, according to British press reports. As reported, Permira approached Debenhams plc with an indicative takeover bid in mid-May and is working with its chief executive, Belinda Earl, and her management team on the buyout. However, Permira is unlikely to be the only suitor for the company, as CVC Capital Partners and Texas Pacific Group are among the firms that also have expressed interest. A spokeswoman for Permira declined to comment, while a spokeswoman for Debenhams couldn’t be reached.

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