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The weekend newspaper round up: May 30-31

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

Marks & Spencer

The Sunday Telegraph reported that Marks & Spencer chairman Sir Stuart Rose’s succession plans had been heavily criticised by a City analyst.

In a note to clients, Paul Smiddy, retail analyst at bank HSBC, said that too many senior managers had left M&S and that if M&S finance director Ian Dyson was promoted to chief executive, it would not be well received by the City.

Smiddy added that the announcement of a “strongly percieved external candidtate” could act as a positive catalyst for M&S shares.

Credit Suisse analyst Tony Shiret said that M&S needed a strategy to deliver short term profit recovery to justify rejecting Sir Philip Green’s bid for the company five three years ago.

Women in the fashion industry

Hundreds of thousands of women working in fashion in the UK are being paid less than their male colleagues and being passed over for top jobs, according to TheIndependent on Sunday.

Retailers including M&S, Next and Courtaulds, which owns Gossard and Pretty Polly, are offering extra training to women to help them compete with male colleagues, according to the newspaper.

According to the Fawcett Society, which campaigns for equality between men and women in the UK for pay and pensions, women make up 52% of the workforce in the fashion industry, but have only 37% of the top jobs and are paid 15% less than male colleagues.

In an interview with the Observer Magazine,M&S chairman Sir Stuart Rose said that women in the workplace had “never had it so good”. Rose rejected the idea that professional women suffered from sexism and said that there was no “glass ceiling” for women in the workplace. He also rejected the idea that having children could create an uneven playing field for working mothers.


Synova Capital, which acquired the Fiorelli accessories brand last summer after buying its parent company the Lunan Group, is to add rival handbag brand Nica to its stable in a deal worth between £10m and £15m, according to The Sunday Times.

Synova, a buyout fund chaired by one of the UK’s wealthiest men, Poju Zabludowicz, is expected to have retail sales of around £50 million after the deal.


Luggage manufacturer Samsonite has agreed a last minute rescue deal with its private equity owners CVC which will see its lender Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) take a majority stake in the business, according to The Sunday Telegraph.

A deal was signed between CVC and 70% goverment-owned RBS after Samsonite was expected to breach its covenants later this month.






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