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Weekend newspaper round-up: March 7-8

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

The Observer reported that Arcadia owner Sir Philip Green was a secret backer in a £92 million deal to buy the O2 shopping centre on London’s Finchley Road. The acquisition was fronted by Matterhorn Capital, run by property investor Anthony Lyons. The report added that Green was understood to be closely monitoring the property market for opportunities.

The Observer also said that staff at John Lewis would have their bonuses cut after a difficult year. It said 700,000 staff at John Lewis and Waitrose who are co-owners of the business under John Lewis’ partnership structure, are expected to get a bonus of 12% of annual pay, down 40% from last year, which was the equivalent of 10 weeks’ salary.

All staff, including senior management, get the same percentage payout of bonuses. The report said that profits at the business are expected to have declined by as much as 30% from last year’s record £380m.

The Sunday Times said that TM Lewin planned to open its first stores outside the UK in Singapore. The shirting and tailoring business will open a store in Changi airport, with up to four other shops to open in Singapore. The stores will be franchise operations. TM Lewin is likely to report sales of £78 million for the year end to February, with EBITDA expected to exceed last year’s £11m by more than 10%.

Gore, Bravissimo, White Stuff and Net-a-Porter were all named in The Sunday Times 100 Best Companies to Work For 2009. Gore was ranked seventh, with lingerie business Bravissimo at 26, followed by lifestyle chain White Stuff at 65 and luxury etailer Net-a-Porter ranked seventy third.

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