OF FRENCH BONDAGE: Bernard Arnault’s holding firm Financiere Agache, the vehicle through which he and his family control Christian Dior SA, issued about $880 million in bonds that are convertible into shares of LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton. Christian Dior SA is the parent of LVMH. SG, the investment banking arm of Societe Generale Group which underwrote the four-year bond, said the book closed after three hours and it was oversubscribed seven times. Analysts noted the bonds won’t affect the total number of LVMH shares in circulation. One characterized it as a cheap method for Arnault to finance his family holdings, and possibly a way to streamline his control of LVMH and Christian Dior SA. Shares in LVMH closed up 1.5 percent at $49.28 on the Paris Bourse. Dollars are converted from euros at current exchange.
TRAINED SEAL: The Wet Seal Inc. hired Susan Powers as vice president and director of stores for its 460-unit Wet Seal division to help train the Wet Seal team to cater to juniors as well as contemporary customers. It is part of the company’s drive to broaden its customer base. Powers’ prior credits include vice president of retail store operations for BCBG; regional director for Bath & Body Works, a division of The Limited Inc., and regional director for Garden Botanika.
LAFLEY ADDS TO ROLE: Procter & Gamble announced Wednesday that A.G. Lafley, currently president and chief executive officer of the company, will add the title of chairman of the board to his list of responsibilities, effective July 1. The announcement comes in anticipation of the retirement on July 1 of current chairman John E. Pepper, a 38-year P&G veteran. Pepper will remain a director of the company and will continue chairing the board’s executive committee for an additional year. Lafley joined P&G in 1977 and was named president and ceo in June 2000. The board also elected two other members to new positions. Bruce Byrnes was named vice chairman and a director, He remains president-global beauty care and global health care. R. Kerry Clark was elected vice chairman and a director. He is president-global market development and business operations.
PARK TO PEOPLE: Jeannie Park has returned to People as executive editor, joining Cutler Durkee and Joe Treen, who also hold that title. Most recently, Park was executive editor at In Style, where she had been since January 1999. Before that, she spent four years as assistant managing editor of Entertainment Weekly, and earlier was an associate editor at People. Park reports to People managing editor Martha Nelson.