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FB roundup: Ferragamo, Shahid Khan, and Dyson

By Susan Lingeswaran

Wanda Ferragamo, matriarch of fashion empire Salvatore Ferragamo, dies aged 96

Wanda Ferragamo, who is credited with expanding her husband’s shoe business into the global fashion brand Salvatore Ferragamo, has died at her home in Fiesole, Italy aged 96.

The Ferragamo family issued a statement confirming her death, but did not disclose a cause. She is survived by her four children—Giovanna, Ferruccio, Massimo and Leonardo.

The business has annual revenue of about $1.6 billion, according to Bloomberg News.

Wanda’s husband, Salvatore Ferragamo, produced custom-made shoes for Hollywood actresses such as Audrey Hepburn, Greta Garbo and Marilyn Monroe before his death in 1960.

Wanda, who had no experience in business or in designing shoes at the time of his death, took charge of her husband’s company while raising her six children.

After assuming presidency, Wanda insisted that the company be known by her husband’s full name, Salvatore Ferragamo, and under her leadership, the brand expanded into clothing, perfume, handbags, leather goods, watches and eyewear.

All of Wanda’s six children became executives at the company, each taking charge of a different side of the business.  

Her son Ferruccio is now chairman of the firm and her daughter Giovanna is vice chairman. Her two other sons, Massimo and Leonardo manage US operations and investments.

Since her death, shares in Salvatore Ferragamo SpA jumped almost 9% on the expectation that her heirs may sell their stakes in the company. Wanda held 20% voting rights in the family holding.

Dyson to manufacture new electric vehicle in Singapore

Dyson, the UK-based technology firm founded by entrepreneur Sir James Dyson, has chosen Singapore as the manufacturing base for its new electric car.

The vacuum maker had shortlisted multiple locations around the world, including one of its sites in Britain where the car is being designed. It picked Singapore because of its proximity to high growth markets in Asia.

The plant is set to be completed in 2020, with the car to be launched in 2021.

In an email to staff this week, Jim Rowan, chief executive of Dyson, said the decision was made on the base of availability of engineering talent, regional supply chains, and proximity to key target markets.

“The decision of where to make our car is complex, based on supply chain, access to markets and the availability of the expertise that will help us achieve our ambitions,” the statement said.

“Our existing footprint in Singapore, combined with the nation’s significant advanced manufacturing expertise, made it a front runner. Singapore has a comparatively high cost base but also great technology expertise and focus.”

Dyson already manufactures electric motors for its other products in Singapore and also has manufacturing facilities in Malaysia and the Philippines. It does not manufacture any of its products in the UK.

Shahid Khan withdraws offer to buy Wembley Stadium

Shahid Khan has withdrawn his £600 million ($790 million) offer to buy the UK's Wembley Stadium from the Football Association after the proposal became divisive.

Khan, the billionaire owner of auto parts supplier Flex-N-Gate, had been in talks with the FA since April and the two sides agreed draft sale terms last month.

However, the plan divided opinion, with former Premier League chairman Sir David Richards calling the proposal “scandalous” in April and former England defender Gary Neville telling a British parliamentary hearing in July the plans were “a short-term plan we’ll regret forever”.

A week before the FA’s 127-member council was due to vote on the proposal, Khan rescinded the offer after concluding that the deal would not gain sufficient support.

“The intent of my efforts was, and is, to do right by everyone in a manner that strengthens the English game and brings people together, not divides them,” Khan said.

“Unfortunately, given where we are today, I’ve concluded that the outcome of a vote next week would be far from sufficient in expressing the broad support favoured by the FA chairman to sell Wembley Stadium.”

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