PPR SALE: French distribution giant Pinault-Printemps-Redoute on Thursday said it would sell its Pinault Bois & Materiaux wood and construction supplies division for $615.9 million to Britain’s Wolseley construction group. As reported, PPR, controlled by French magnate François Pinault, has been shedding its business-to-business activities in favor of its higher-margin retail and luxury holdings. PPR controls 61 percent of Italy’s Gucci group. The sale of Pinault Bois holds symbolic value as Pinault’s core property when he began to assemble his group, which spans the Fnac music and book chain and the Printemps department stores. PPR has already shed its Guilbert office supplies division and Finaref and Facet consumer credit units. It is also expected to divest its Rexel electrical equipment supplier.

DOCKERS GOES TOPS: Dockers has entered into a licensing agreement with Kellwood Co. in which Kellwood will design and produce a full range of women’s tops, including knits, wovens, sweaters and blazers for misses’ and petite consumers under the Dockers For Women label in the U.S. The new tops collection will be distributed in department, chain and specialty stores nationwide starting in fall 2004.

TAUBMAN TAPS ULLMAN: Myron E. "Mike" Ullman 3rd has joined the board of Taubman Centers Inc. As the ninth independent member of the board, Ullman fills a vacancy in the class of directors whose term will expire in 2005. Ullman could be helpful in Taubman’s efforts to thwart the $1.7 billion, or $20 per share, all-cash takeover offer from Simon Property Group, considering his experience in corporate takeovers. He was chief executive at R.H. Macy & Co. in the early Nineties, and fought hard, but unsuccessfully, to block Federated Department Stores’ takeover of Macy’s. At Taubman, Ullman also will be a member of the board’s audit committee. Ullman is co-chairman of Global Crossing Limited, and has retired from full-time corporate activity. During the past 15 years, he held top positions at Wharf Holdings Ltd., DFS Group Ltd., LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton and De Beers LV. He was recently appointed to the board of Starbucks Coffee Co. Taubman Centers, a real estate investment trust, owns and/or manages 30 shopping centers in 13 states.

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