In Business This Week
A FRUIT OF THE LOOM STOCK HARVESTING
Dealmaker Bill Farley hates giving up voting control of any of his companies, but he'll do it this once. The stock of Fruit of the Loom is trading around 14, near its recent high, and Farley has a chance to pay off investment banker Leon Black. So 14 million Fruit shares owned by Farley, his companies, and some of his associates will soon come to market.
As part of the sale, Farley will buy back and then resell 3.75 million shares sold to Black's Land Free Investments in a complicated transaction that amounted to a pricey loan. Sources close to the company say Farley will be relieved to prise the shares away from his mercurial friend. The sale, which would fetch around $200 million at recent prices, also will enable Farley to pay down some $100 million of bank debt. Farley could sell up to 550,000 shares of his personal holdings, but watch for him to hang on to his private cache if Fruit's price climbs before the shares are sold.EDITED BY HARRIS COLLINGWOOD