CLOSE TO THE VEST: Rumors continued to circulate on Monday that Herb Gallen, owner and chairman of Ellen Tracy, had finally sold the company after toying with the idea for years. But the company wouldn’t confirm anything. Gallen did not return several calls, and a spokeswoman would only offer, “No comment.”

This story first appeared in the June 18, 2002 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

SEARS SPOTS LAND: Sears, Roebuck & Co. finished its $62-per-share tender offer for Lands’ End common stock on Friday with about 29.4 million shares, or 98 percent, of the direct merchant’s stock tendered. The remaining 667,000 shares will be converted into rights to receive $62 in cash. Sears expects the merger to be wrapped up on or before June 20. “Our team is now ready to begin working diligently to expand Lands’ End distribution and offer our customers a compelling assortment of Lands’ End product through multiple channels including online, Sears stores and catalogs,” said chairman and chief executive Alan Lacy in a statement.

DIRECTING LVMH: LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton on Monday said it has added a slot to its board and tapped French executive Jacques Friedman as a new director. Friedman, a commander of the French Legion of Honor, is currently chairman of the development board of Paris’ Quai Branley Museum and the chairman of the Jeu de Paume gallery. He is also honorary general auditor and the former chairman of the supervisory board of French insurance giant AXA.

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