Acquisition frenzy, Bulgari posts loss, Moody’s upgrades Saks, Liberty agrees flagship sale, Russian luxury declines

Tommy Hilfiger Spring/Summer 2010 | Source: Tommy Hilfiger

Tommy Hilfiger Spring/Summer 2010 | Source: Tommy Hilfiger

A big takeover brings cheer to gloomy fashion retailing (Economist)
“PVH’s acquisition of Tommy Hilfiger has aroused widespread interest, because it is a sign of life in an ailing industry. Analysts are predicting that more deals will follow this year. The cutbacks fashion companies have made in the past two years have left some of them with cash to spend on takeovers.”

Cost-cuts take shine off Bulgari (FT)
Bulgari sank yesterday after the Italian watch and jewellery maker posted a €13.6m fourth-quarter loss in spite of an improving luxury goods sector. Analysts said the numbers were the result of poor fundamentals, adding that the company should expect downgrades.”

Moody’s lifts Saks outlook to stable (Business Week)
“Moody’s Investors Service lifted its outlook for Saks Inc. on Tuesday, saying the luxury retailer is likely to fatten operating income over the next two quarters.”

Retailer Liberty agrees sale of flagship store for £41.5m (Guardian)
Liberty, the department store group, has agreed a sale and leaseback deal on its Tudor-style building in London’s West End… [the company] has exchanged contracts to sell the building for £41.5m to Sirosa Liberty, with the proceeds used to pay off its debt.”

Luxury Brands Declining Demand in Russia (Pravda)
“Decrease in demand for products of Luxury, Premium and Upper Middle segments in Russia in 2009 amounted to… 40-45% because of the exchange rate difference. Most luxury operators had stopped their expansion and focused on the development of their existing projects in large Russian cities.”