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Folli-Follie to Speed Up China Openings, Cut Debt on Fosun Deal

May 19 (Bloomberg) -- Folli-Follie Group plans to speed up store openings in China and use capital from Fosun International Ltd.’s acquisition of a 9.5 percent stake in the Greek retailing company to reduce debt.

The company, whose activities include operating Hellenic Duty Free Shops and manufacturing jewelry and handbags, plans to build on common interests with Fosun in retailing, tourism tax-free outlets, Folli-Follie Managing Director George Koutsolioutsos said.

“We are hopeful this will add value and reinforce the brand in China,” Koutsolioutsos said in Athens today at a presentation for the signing of the agreement with Fosun.

Fosun, a diversified company based in Shanghai that wants to invest in luxury brands in Europe, agreed to pay 84.6 million euros ($120.7 million) for the stake in Folli-Follie, according to a statement on May 4. Folli-Follie will issue 6.4 million new shares in favor of Fosun with par value of 0.3 euro each and a traded value of 13.3 euros each.

Folli-Follie, based in Athens, had 652.2 million euros in net debt at the end of last year, according to a company presentation.

To contact the reporter on this story: Natalie Weeks in Athens at nweeks2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Angela Cullen at acullen8@bloomberg.net

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