ADVISING FIN.PART: With less than three weeks to go before it must pay back bonds worth 200 million euros, or $245.9 million at current exchange rates, Fin.part is enlisting new help. The fashion group, which owns Cerruti and Frette, among other brands, said it has tapped ABN AMRO as its new financial adviser, replacing Franco Tatò & Partners. Consultants at the international bank, however, have a limited time to find solutions for Fin.part’s mounting financial difficulties. As of March 31, Fin.part’s net debt stood at 350.9 million euros, or $431.4 million. More pressing, however, is its obligation to pay back those bonds on July 26. There’s still no word on how the company plans to meet that obligation. Last month, in a stopgap move, Fin.part inked a licensing deal with Tombolini for the production and distribution of the Cerruti men’s and women’s collection. The two-season license starts with fall 2004 and ends with spring-summer 2005.
LILLY PROMOTES: Kimilyn Whitaker has been named vice president of retail and merchandising at Lilly Pulitzer, a new post. She has been with the company three years, most recently as director of merchandising. In her new role, she will be responsible for the development of the brand’s retail presence, as well as merchandising. In other news, Brigid Foster, who has been director of process improvements and finance, has been promoted to vice president of process improvements and finance, a new post. Foster is responsible for implementing process improvements, supervising and integrating financial reporting, budgeting, variance analysis and the human resources functions at the King of Prussia, Pa.-based firm. Both executives, who are based in King of Prussia, report to Scott Beaumont, chief executive officer.