HDP HOLDING PATTERN: Holding di Partecipazioni Industriali’s fashion business has a new, albeit short-term, lease on life. The shareholders’ syndicate that controls HdP, with about 46 percent of its stock, wants the company to pull out of its cash-consuming fashion businesses to focus on publishing, and key shareholders had an option to quit the syndicate at the end of the year. Last week, however, that deadline was moved to May 31, 2002, giving HdP five more months to sell fashion properties including Valentino, GFT Net, Joseph Abboud and, already official on the selling block, Fila.
RUSSIA WANTS IN: U.S. Trade Representative Robert Zoellick met Russian Economic Trade and Development Minister German Gref in Paris on Monday to advance Russia’s bid to join the World Trade Organization. “Our economic relationship with Russia has developed rapidly in recent months, and Minster Gref and I will explore concrete ways in which to capitalize on this positive momentum, especially by advancing Russia’s accession to the WTO,” Zoellick said in a statement. “Russia’s WTO working party has just concluded a series of productive informal meetings in Geneva, and members have agreed to pursue a vigorous negotiating timetable in the first part of next year.” Russian President Vladimir Putin has identified WTO membership for Russia as a priority for his administration and negotiations have accelerated over the last year.
STYLECLICK EXITING NASDAQ NATIONALS: Shares of e-commerce services provider Styleclick Inc., a subsidiary of USA Networks, are expected by the company to be delisted from the Nasdaq National Market after a review that has determined the earnings per share no longer meet the market’s net tangible assets rule. After the anticipated delisting, Styleclick, which trades under IBUY, expects to see its shares change hands on the OTC Bulletin Board. Shares of Styleclick eased 3 cents, to close at a 52-week low of 14 cents Monday. Styleclick is one of several interactive shopping units, including Home Shopping Network, that will remain part of USA Networks, following the sale of USA’s TV and movie businesses to Vivendi Universal in an $11.7 billion deal announced Monday. At that time, USA Networks will be renamed USA Interactive and focus on e-commerce.