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FM Edition:

A weekly round up of the hottest international retail and consumer news.

1. LVMH launches share buyback

LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE announced a €300m share buyback programme, saying it would run until the end of the year. This comes amid rumours that the French luxury firm is in talks to buy struggling US brand Michael Kors. Both companies have so far declined to comment on a potential tie-up. Last week, LVMH’s stock had its "buy" rating restated by research analysts at JPMorgan Chase & Co.

2. Gap continues fall from grace

Gap, the iconic American retailer, reported a seventh consecutive quarter of year-on-year sales decline last week. The group’s share fell as much as 15.14% to US$25.45 on Friday. The decline shaved close to $2bn off the company’s market value. For the three months to October 29, sales slipped 1.5% to $3.8bn. Same-store sales slipped 3%. The brand has shut stores and boosted e-commerce as slicker rivals like Zara and H&M lure shoppers.

3. Estée Lauder buys beauty brand for $1.45bn

New York Stock Exchange-listed Estée Lauder Companies will buy make-up brand Too Faced in an acquisition worth $1.45bn — the largest takeover in Estée Lauder’s history. The deal, which will allow the group to tap into a younger consumer base, is expected to be closed by the end of the year.

4. Apple exiting router business

Apple has reportedly disbanded its division that develops wireless routers, which haven’t been updated since 2013.