VF BUYS REEF: VF Corp. said Monday it was acquiring — for an undisclosed amount — Reef Holdings Corp., which does some $75 million in sales of surfer clothes and shoes, and is based in San Diego. VF said the acquisition will contribute about $45 million to its top line while being “neutral to earnings per share in 2005 and accretive in 2006.” The supplier is acquiring all of the outstanding shares of Reef from a group of investors led my Swander Pace Capital, the majority stakeholder. VF said the deal “will be funded with existing cash balances and is expected to be completed by the end of April.” The company said Reef will be folded into VF’s outdoor coalition division.

FENDI’S NEW HIRE: Paige Pedersen has joined Fendi North America as vice president of communications, a new post. Pedersen will oversee marketing, advertising and public relations for the LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton division. For the past three years, Pedersen worked with Isabella Rossellini, helping launch her fragrance and cosmetics line. Before that, she was vice president of public relations for Louis Vuitton North America. Pedersen will report to Gianluca Flore, Fendi North America’s president.

CALVIN HIRE: Calvin Klein tapped Silvia Negri Firman to be vice president of public relations for Europe, replacing Noona Smith-Peterson, who left in September to join the Tod’s Group as global director of corporate p.r. worldwide for all its brands. Negri Firman will handle Calvin Klein’s p.r. in Europe, which has been a growth market for the company. Next month, CK plans to open a flagship for its black label designer line at Corso Matteotti, 5 in Milan. Negri Firman had been Calvin Klein’s European p.r. director from 1999 to 2001. She returns to the company after serving as Costume National’s worldwide communications director.

PENNEY BUYBACK: As part of its ongoing capital restructuring efforts, J.C. Penney Co. will repurchase $1 billion of stock and debt. The retailer will buy roughly $750 million in common stock and $250 million of open-market debt, and take $30 million, or 8 cents a share, in pretax charges. It expects to complete this new program, funded by $600 million in free cash flow and $400 million previously allocated to early debt retirement, by yearend. As of March 17, J.C. Penney had repurchased $2 billion of common stock as part of its 2004 repurchase program. It expects to complete the 2004 program by May.

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