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The weekend newspaper round-up: June 6-7

The best of the fashion business-related headlines from the weekend’s newspapers…

Hugo Boss

The Mail on Sunday reported that Valentino Group, which owns the Hugo Boss and Valentino brands, is expected to meet with its banks this week to discuss plans to reduce its £1 billion debts.

It is understood that the talks between the group, which was bought by private equity firm Permira in 2007, and banks Citigroup, Mediobanca and UniCredit, will be aimed at easing the repayment terms of the debt. Permira is understood to have been forced to write down the value of its luxury goods holdings as the debt markets have tightened.

Sports Direct

Sports Direct is planning a £50 million bonus scheme which could see some staff receive up to a year’s salary in shares if the group meets profit targets, according to The Sunday Times.

More than 2,000 staff at the sportswear chain would be in line for a windfall under the scheme if the group’s underlying profits hit more than £200 million by the 2010-2011 financial year.

Sports Direct deputy chairman Mike Ashley will start consultations with shareholders about the proposed scheme this week.

The bonus, which could be worth an average of £25,000 for employees, would go to full time staff with more than two years service. The shares would have to be kept for at least two years before they could be cashed in. Ashley wold not be eligible for any payout under the scheme.

The City expects underlying profit for Sports Direct to be £135 million for the financial year ended this April.

M and M Direct

Sales at online sports and fashion business M and M Direct rose 29% to £95 million for the year to February. Profits at the company were up by more than a fifth to £10 million, according to The Mail on Sunday. The company, which sells excess and end of line stock, said that it was benefiting from its discount positioning. The company launched a facility for shoppers to pay in euros last weekend to grab more customers from the Republic of Ireland and the continent.





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