UK: M&S Chief's Snub Kills Coats/Li & Fung Deal
M&S chairman and chief executive, Luc Vandevelde, has been accused by The Times of snubbing one of the frontrunners in the race to purchase clothing factories from Coats Viyella.William Fung, managing director of Li & Fung, a Hong Kong-based trading company, is said to have repeatedly tried to contact Mr Vandevelde over the past week. He wanted to discuss the acquisition of the factories, which are major suppliers to M&S, before putting in a firm offer.M&S said that head of strategy and international business, David Norgrove, was willing to discuss the deal with the Hong Kong firm, but this was unacceptable to Mr Fung. Mr Vandevelde had been "in and out of the office" over the past few days and had been unavailable.The Coats Viyella factories were put up for sale in early September when the company announced that it was to focus on its threads business. Some 2,000 jobs have already been lost and if no buyer is found for the remaining factories, a further 3,000 jobs will be on the line.
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