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Apollo Eyes Mervyn's; A&F Goes Gucci

Kimco isn't the only company interested in acquiring Mervyn's real estate from Target Corp. A group lead by New York's Apollo Real Estate Advisors is also interested in the 25.9 million-square-foot portfolio, which is worth an estimated $2 billion, says A.G. Edwards & Sons equity analyst Robert Buchanan. Apollo made news recently with its purchase of 7 million square feet of Polish retail space for $840 million. The group Apollo has assembled to bid on Mervyn's includes Hal Kahn, the former CEO of Macy's East, Buchanan says. Kahn, who once worked as president of Montgomery Ward, retired from Macy's this February after 10 years with the Federated Department Stores division. Interested buyers are still gathering data points from Target and no bids have been submitted yet, he adds.

Former Gucci executive Bob Singer is moving from Florence, Italy to Columbus, Ohio, to become the new president and COO of Abercrombie & Fitch. He replaces 12-year veteran Seth Johnson, who retires this month after leading the teen trendsetter through its IPO and spin-off from Limited Brands. Singer worked successfully with Gucci president and CEO Domenico DeSole to turn the stagnant fashion house into a money-maker. He left Gucci this April after DeSole's ouster. Gucci and Abercrombie are similar retailers in many ways, says Bear Stearns analyst Dana Telsey. Both companies support aspirational brands, have high operating margins and are driven by visionary creative directors. "His strong background as a luxury executive, coupled with his knowledge of branding qualify him to be a very talented leader," she says.

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