NO TO TOMMY/APAX: Sowood Capital, a Boston-based fund, said in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission Monday that it sent a letter to Tommy Hilfiger Corp. and its independent directors indicating that it believes the proposed sale of Hilfiger to Apax Partners “materially undervalues” the apparel firm. It said its analysis of the publicly available information indicates that fair value for Hilfiger is between $19.50 to $27 a share, and that it plans to vote the 5,798,000 shares Sowood holds against the merger proposal. Hilfiger said last month that it entered into a purchase agreement with private equity firm Apax at $16.80 a share. Sowood in its letter to the firm and the independent directors, filed with the SEC, said it was also “deeply troubled by the revelation that certain members of the management team, including Mr. Hilfiger, appear to have had the opportunity to negotiate favorable personal deals with Apax outside of the merger process. Although you believe you have conducted a fair and thorough process, the merger background leads us to disagree.”
HALL OF FAME INDUCTION: Michael J. Boylson, executive vice president and chief marketing officer of J.C. Penney, will be inducted into the Retail Advertising Hall of Fame at the annual Retail Advertising Conference Feb. 8-10 at the Hilton Chicago. The conference is organized by the Retail Advertising and Marketing Association, a division of the National Retail Federation. At Penney’s, Boylson is responsible for the development and execution of the corporate brand strategy, sales promotion plans, national broadcast, all print creative and production, credit marketing and packaging. He also oversees the strategic vision and execution of Penney’s top apparel and home private brands, including Arizona, Stafford, St. John’s Bay, Delicates, Worthington and the J.C. Penney Home Collection. Boylson joined Penney’s in 1978 as a selling specialist in the Niles, Ill., store and rose to catalogue media manager, regional business planning manager, store manager and district manager. Chris Madden, chief executive officer of Chris Madden Inc. and designer of the “Turning Home Into Haven” Penney’s home collection, will host the awards ceremony at the conference.