EARL JEANS MAY BE SOLD

LOS ANGELES — Is super-hot Earl Jeans about to be sold?
Speculation buzzed through the industry Thursday that the denim brand would be sold, and that a deal could come as early as next week. Ben Freiwald, who owns the company with his wife, Suzanne Costas, declined to comment, but on Thursday, the “company story” section of its Web site coyly read, “New Story Coming Soon!”
Sources said the company has been shopping itself around since December, when it hired an investment banker to explore options.
Freiwald confirmed that Earl is planning to launch a men’s collection in July. He projected that the five year-old brand would reach $45 million this year.