This story first appeared in the November 11, 2003 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

  • DONE DEAL FOR DEBENHAMS: Debenhams is in private hands after shareholders voted overwhelmingly in favor of the pumped-up bid tendered last month by Baroness Retail, controlled by CVC Capital Partners and Texas Pacific Group, at a special shareholders meeting Monday. Store officials told the London Stock Exchange that 99.5 percent of shares were voted in favor of the per-share bid of $7.85, or 4.70 pounds converted at current exchange, which values the U.K. department store at $2.87 billion, or 1.72 billion pounds, 10.6 percent above the initial offer from Permira that sparked the bidding war four months ago. As reported, John Lovering will become chairman of the store, and its stock delisted, following court approval of Monday’s vote.

  • STAYING IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD: Jan du Plessis has resigned as group finance director of Compagnie Financière Richemont SA to become non-executive chairman of British American Tobacco, in which Richemont holds a 19.2 percent stake. He will leave Richemont next April and take his new post in July. Richemont said his successor will be named on Thursday, when the firm announces its interim results, and sources indicated the individual would come from within Richemont. “We have worked closely together for over 20 years,” said Johann Rupert, chairman and chief executive of Richemont. “He played a key role in the formation of Richemont and has made a huge contribution to the group over the years.”
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