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The weekend newspaper round up: November 27 to 28, 2010

A round up of the best fashion business stories from the weekend’s newspapers.

  • Luxury fashion group Hermès has hired bankers as “defence” advisers following predatory moves on the company by larger rival LVMH, the Daily Telegraph reported. Hermès has appointed BNP Paribas and Bank of America Merrill Lynch to advise the group. The move comes after LVMH secretly built a 17.1% stake in Hermès, triggering speculation the company is interested in making a bid.
  • Blacks Leisure may be broken up if the outdoor clothing retailer fails to find a buyer, sources have told the Mail on Sunday. Blacks is in second-round talks with at least three parties. However, others who have been previously linked with the firm, including former Debenhams chairman John Lovering, are understood to have walked away.
  • Findel is set to announce a £80m cash call as the home-shopping firm desperately seeks to reduce its debts, The Sunday Times reported. The equity raising, scheduled to be revealed at the company’s preliminary results on Tuesday, has received the backing of key shareholders even though a similar amount was raised last year.
  • A record number of supermarkets will open on Boxing Day this year, the Daily Telegraph reported. Tesco, which in 2007 opened just 10 stores, will this year open 410. Asda, which used to close on Boxing Day, is opening 105 stores. Sainsbury’s, which opened 95 last year, is more than toubling that to 236.
  • Retailers have launched a series of discounts this weekend in an effort to win over shoppers’ last pay packets before Christmas, the Daily Telegraph reported. These include Marks & Spencer and Debenhams. The average discount equated to 31% being knocked off the price.
  • Retail gloom in Ireland reflects the country’s stricken economy with sales that were already depressed dropping even further, The Observer reported.
  • Sir Philip Green’s stepson has tabled a £910m bid for the property empire owned by David Ross, the Conservative party donor and Carphone warehouse co-founder, the Sunday Times reported. Brett Palos, and his JV partners, Anthony Lyons and Simon Conway of Matterhorn Capital, want to buy Ross’s Kandahar portfolio of about 50 shops and malls in market towns such as Bishop’s Stortford.

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