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The weekend newspaper round-up

The best of the business news from the weekend's newspapers
Marks & Spencer has lost market share in its core lingerie markets according to leaked figures from Taylor Nelson Sofres, the market research firm. The Sunday Telegraph said that Debenhams, Asda and Bhs all gained lingerie market share at the expense of M&S, according for the 12 weeks to the beginning of December.

The Sunday Telegraph also reported that Icelandic investment firm Baugur has seen the value of its quoted UK holdings which includes Moss Bros and French Connection halve this year. The newspaper added that excluding House of Fraser, which was acquired at the end of 2006, Baugur's seven main holding companies, which includes fashion retailers Jane Norman and Karen Millen, have combined sales of £2.8 billion and made a pre-tax profit of £26.4 million in 2006/07. However discount fashion chain MK One was the worst performers . Sales at the fashion retailer fell in the year to January 27 2007 from £169m to £118m.

TV pundit Jeremy Paxman has has written to M&S complaining about the quality of the retailer's smalls. The Sunday Times said that Paxman had written to M&S boss Sir Stuart Rose complaining of "widespread gusset anxiety" suffered by both himself and his friends. He added that the pants retailed by M&S no longer offered support where needed and that M&S socks are no longer able to withstand the pressure from his toes. An M&S spokesman said that Rose is looking forward to discussing the matter with Paxman over lunch.

Catalogue retailer Littlewoods Direct amongst other parties has expressed an interest in acquiring parts of struggling Empire stores said The Financial Mail on Sunday. The French owners of Bradford-based Empire said the business would close in 12 months with the loss of up to 850 jobs.

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