CHECK THE FINE PRINT: Pinault-Printemps-Redoute and the Italian securities commission may have had a failure to communicate. PPR said late last week that it received a notice from market regulator Consob to suspend its tender offer to Gucci shareholders who are residents of Italy, citing a violation of that country’s securities laws. PPR said in a statement that “as indicated in its tender offer document, PPR states, and Consob has been so informed, that its offer was never intended to be directed at Italian residents.” PPR added that tenders made by Gucci shareholders who reside in Italy will not be accepted, at that it is sorting out the matter with Consob. At the conclusion Thursday of its monthlong tender offer, PPR owned 99.23 percent of Gucci’s shares.
SAUDI ARABIA NEARS WTO ENTRY: The 10-year bid of Saudi Arabia to join the World Trade Organization entered its final phase last week, after the oil-rich kingdom completed market-access talks with countries including China and India. Its remaining hurdles to becoming the WTO’s 148th member are talks with the U.S. and Panama. Its imports last year rose 5 percent to $34.1 billion. Saudi officials are due in Washington this week for further discussions with U.S. negotiators.
IT HOLDING SELLS KNIT HOUSE: In line with its strategy to focus on its money-making brands, IT Holding said Friday it sold its knit brand Gentryportofino to the Italian knitwear company Elizabeth Mambrini Srl for $5 million, or 4.2 million euros at current exchange. This announcement follows IT Holding’s sale last week of Romeo Gigli. IT Holding, listed on the Milan stock exchange, now controls Gianfranco Ferré, Malo, Exté and Ittierre, which produces and distributes jeans and young lines for Dolce & Gabbana, Versace and Roberto Cavalli.