Archive for August, 2010

Barneys appoints Mark Lee as new CEO (AP)

Monday, August 23rd, 2010 | Finance News

NEW YORK – Luxury retailer Barneys New York has named Mark Lee, the former head of Gucci, as its new CEO.

The appointment takes effect Sept. 1.

Barneys said in a news release Monday that Lee has more than 25 years experience in luxury and retail. He joined Gucci in 1996 and was president and CEO from 2004 through 2008.

Lee started his career at Saks Fifth Avenue in 1984 and went on to hold top positionts with the Giorgio Armani and Jil Sander brands.

Barneys made the announcement with its shareholder Istithmar World, a subsidiary of Dubai World, a sprawling conglomerate owned by the sheikdom that has interests ranging from real estate to tourism to seaports. Dubai World is struggling with massive debt.

The Dubai investment firm bought the luxury chain in 2007 from Jones Apparel Group Inc. for $942.3 million.

The luxury sector is rebounding from a steep cut in spending, even among the wealthy, during the recession.

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Marks and Spencer names banker as new chairman (AP)

Monday, August 23rd, 2010 | Finance News

LONDON – Robert Swannell, an investment banker who was a key figure in defending British retailer Marks and Spencer Group PLC from a takeover six years ago, will become its chairman next year, the company announced Monday.

Swannell will succeed Sir Stuart Rose, who recently gave up his other title of chief executive of the food and clothing merchant.

"His appointment completes our succession plan and enables us to revert to standard governance practice," said Rose, who was criticized for holding both key positions at Marks and Spencer.

Rose and Swannell have a long association. Rose called on the banker to help defend Marks and Spencer from billionaire Sir Philip Green's hostile takeover attempt in 2004.

Swannell, 59, was formerly vice chairman of Citi Europe and co-chairman of Citigroup's European Investment Bank. He retired from Citigroup in March.

He is currently chairman of HMV Group and a director of The British Land Company PLC and private equity firm 3i Group PLC.

He will join the Marks and Spencer board as a non-executive director on Oct. 4, and move up to chairman on Jan. 4, the company said.

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HP launches $1.6 billion bid for 3PAR (Reuters)

Monday, August 23rd, 2010 | Finance News

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Hewlett-Packard (HPQ.N) launched a $1.6 billion bid for data storage company 3PAR Inc (PAR.N) on Monday, countering a week-old offer by technology rival Dell Inc (DELL.O).

HP said it had bid $24 a share for 3PAR, or about 33 percent more than Dell planned to pay in a proposed deal announced one week ago. At the time, Dell's bid for 3PAR, which makes storage products that use virtualization technology to allow companies to boost efficiency, marked an 87 percent premium to its share price.

HP, faced with turmoil in its top ranks after the resignation of Chief Executive Officer Mark Hurd, said its board has approved the deal. It said terms would be similar to those proposed by Dell, but would not include a termination fee. HP said its proposed deal would close by the end of the year.

Shares of 3PAR jumped 37 percent after the HP announcement. Shares of HP slipped 1 percent.

(Reporting by Paul Thomasch; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)

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