* Michael Kors Holdings Ltd. closed the acquisition of Italian fashion label Gianni Versace SpA for €1.83 billion, or approximately $2.12 billion, and changed its name to Capri Holdings Ltd. The company's ticker will change to CPRI from KORS. Capri's shares will start trading under the new stock symbol on the New York Stock Exchange on Jan. 2, 2019.
* U.S.-based entertainment products retailer MGA Entertainment Inc. filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles federal court against LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE's luxury brand, Louis Vuitton, for hampering the sale of its toy purse, Pooey Puitton, Reuters reported. MGA rejected the French fashion house's claim of trademark infringement saying it is not possible for customers to mistake the toy purse, part of its Poopsie Slime Surprise line launched in 2018, for Louis Vuitton handbags. A spokesman for Louis Vuitton said the company had no comment on the complaint, the report said.
TEXTILES, APPAREL AND LUXURY GOODS
* Canada Goose Holdings Inc.'s shares jumped 6% to more than $44.30 apiece after the apparel retailer opened its first store in downtown Beijing, following a two-week delay due to pending construction work, Business Insider reported.
* London-based high-end slipper brand Mahabis entered into administration Dec. 27, 2018, according to a statement posted on the company's website. "We have, for the moment, ceased trading as the administrators take over the business," Mahabis said. The company added that customers planning to return items will "very likely" not receive a full refund and the process may take "many months" as the administrator will process the claims.
HYPERMARKETS AND SUPERCENTERS
* Retail giant Walmart Inc. said high-definition TVs and Mainstays pillows were the top-selling items at its stores across the U.S. in 2018. Crayons were a top-selling item in eight U.S. states, while drinks and kitchen essentials also recorded strong sales in different regions of the country.
* Spanish hypermarket operator Distribuidora Internacional de Alimentación SA signed deals worth a total of €896 million, which will be used to refinance its debt and improve the company's liquidity, Reuters reported. As part of the agreement signed with unnamed investors, DIA reportedly will increase its capital by at least €600 million and will continue divesting its Clarel and Cash & Carry units. The financing will mature May 31, 2019, with tranches of minor amounts maturing in 2020 and 2022, the report added.
HOUSEHOLD DURABLES AND SPECIALTY RETAIL
* Some of Ikea's U.S. employees will see their salaries reduced beginning Jan. 1 as part of the home furnishings retailer's O4G, or organization for growth, restructuring strategy that it introduced in October 2017, staff of the Swedish company told Business Insider. Ikea, which changed employee roles within the organization and eliminated shopkeeper-level positions under O4G, reportedly extended pay protection for employees until 2019. An Ikea spokesperson did not immediately respond to the news agency's request for comment on the pay cuts.
CASINOS AND GAMING
* U.K.-based gambling software developer Playtech PLC agreed to pay Israeli authorities about €28 million in back taxes following the completion of a civil tax audit on the company's activities in the country between 2008 and 2017. The company will not face any penalties as a result of the audit.
* Sands China Ltd. discontinued the use of plastic straws at all of its properties, eliminating the use of 2.2 million plastic straws annually, in a move to cut the consumption of single-use plastics. The Macau-based resorts and casinos operator also redesigned the complimentary water bottles it supplies to rooms and suites, reducing Sands China's use of water bottles by 3 million per year.
* Gaming revenue in Macau increased 16.6% year over year in December to 26.47 billion patacas, according to data released by the region's Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau. Macau's casinos recorded 302.85 billion patacas in gaming revenues for full-year 2018, a 14% jump from a year earlier.
* The U.K. government introduced new measures that will require listed companies with more than 250 employees to justify the pay of top executives and to disclose the pay ratio, or the gap between a CEO's salary compared with that of an average worker. The new law came into effect Jan. 1, with first statutory disclosures to be provided from the start of 2020.
The day ahead
Early morning futures indicators pointed to a lower opening for the U.S. market.
In Asia, the Hang Seng fell 2.77% to 25,130.35.
In Europe, around midday, the FTSE 100 decreased 0.82% to 6,672.97, and the Euronext 100 was down 1.36% to 904.15.
On the macro front
The Redbook report and the Purchasing Managers' Manufacturing index report are due out today.
Click here to read about today's financial markets, setting out the factors driving stocks, bonds and currencies around the world ahead of the New York open.
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