L'OREAL EYES KANEBO: L'Oréal teamed up with Morgan Stanley in a bid to buy Kanebo, which is currently under restructuring by the Industrial Revitalization Corporation Japan, according to several media reports. Kanebo could not be reached for comment. A spokesman for L'Oréal in Paris had no comment Thursday. Kao Corp. had been considered as a likely winner to buy Kanebo and was said to be in a joint bid with Goldman Sachs. IRCJ will hold a second round of bidding on Sept. 27 to select bidders for Kanebo and Kanebo Cosmetics. A third round of bidding is expected by the end of November. One report noted that Kanebo will spin off its fashion division, which has a licensing business with Fila and Lanvin.

DONNA HEADS TO SOUTH KOREA: Donna Karan International Inc. has signed a licensing agreement with SK Networks Co. Ltd. to open retail locations under the Donna Karan and DKNY trademarks throughout South Korea. Under the three-year agreement, which is renewable for an additional three years through December 2011, SK Networks plans to open a DKNY flagship in Chungdamdong in the spring. It then will open five DKNY and one Donna Karan Collection shop-in-shops within department stores. Before the term of the agreement is over, SK Networks expects to have 53 boutiques in South Korea, six of which will be freestanding stores.

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