• LEVI’S CREDIT DOWNGRADE: Citing what it called the San Francisco jeansmaker’s deteriorating financial position, credit-ratings agency Moody’s Investors Service on Monday lowered its ratings on Levi Strauss & Co. In a research note, Moody’s said the lowered ratings were due to “the rapid decline in the company’s financial flexibility vis-à-vis its recently executed credit agreement and weaker-than-anticipated year-to-date results, particularly in the areas of sales, working capital needs and cash generation.” Moody’s lowered its rating on Levi’s senior unsecured notes to “Ca” from “B3,” cut its senior implied credit rating to “Caa1” from “B2” and assigned an initial “(P)Caa1” rating to the company’s proposed $500 senior secured credit facility.

  • CHAPS’ NEW CHAPTER: Warnaco Group said Monday that its license from Polo Ralph Lauren Corp. to produce Chaps men’s sportswear had been extended 10 years, through 2018. In a regulatory filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Warnaco reported that the amendment to the existing license also expands the range of products to include a jeanswear collection, activewear and swimwear and adds to “the range of approved accounts.” Warnaco will introduce a new trademark and logo for Chaps as part of the new agreement.

  • EU SEEKS DUMPING SANCTIONS: The European Union said Monday it is relaunching its efforts to impose sanctions on the U.S. over its antidumping laws, which the U.S. has failed to repeal after a decision by the World Trade Organization three years ago deeming the laws incompatible with WTO rules. The European Commission has also proposed the adoption of measures to protect the EU companies affected by the application of dumping rules. The EU is seeking to impose import duties, equivalent to three times the amount of the damage suffered by EU companies, on products of U.S. companies found to dump in its member countries. Whether the retaliation list would include textiles and apparel is unclear.

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