EXECUTIVE APPROVAL: The U.S. Bankruptcy Court on Tuesday approved Warnaco’s hiring of John Kourakos as president of its sportswear division. A top priority will be repairing Warnaco Group Inc.’s relationship with Calvin Klein. In May 2000, Klein filed a blockbuster suit against Warnaco Group and its former ceo Linda Wachner, charging that its practices of discounting and selling to lower-end distribution channels was damaging the brand. While the suit was settled a year ago, the relationship stayed rocky, and in June Warnaco filed Chapter 11. Kourakos previously worked at Calvin Klein and later at Warnaco, where he ran the Calvin Klein innerwear operation. Kourakos’s responsibilities will include Warnaco’s Calvin Klein jeans and underwear operations, Chaps jeans and ABS by Allen B. Schwartz.
ZEBANK SALE: Bernard Arnault, LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton chairman, confirmed Tuesday he sold his stake in Zebank to British Internet bank Egg. Arnault owned 80 percent of Zebank through his Groupe Arnault family holding; Franco-Belgian bank Dexia owned 20 percent. Egg said it would pay $6.8 million for Zebank. As part of the deal, Egg will distribute its credit card at LVMH’s Paris department store La Samaritaine and French units of Sephora.
A PENNEY FOR YOUR HOLDINGS: J.C. Penney is now a holding company. J.C. Penney Co. Inc. has changed its name to J.C. Penney Corp. Inc. and become a wholly-owned subsidiary of the new corporate entity, to be known as J.C. Penney Co. Inc. “This step will not result in any immediate changes to operations, but we believe that the new structure will provide us with more flexibility as we progress with the rebuilding of our businesses,” said chief executive Allen Questrom in a statement. All common and preferred stock in the “old” JCP will be converted into the identical number and types of shares of holding company stock.