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In Brief: On The Block... Ferrero Joins Joseph...

Francois Pinault, the French billionaire who owns Gucci Group, has sold 60 percent of his stake in the French auction house Piasa ....

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- ON THE BLOCK: François Pinault, the French billionaire who owns Gucci Group, has sold 60 percent of his stake in the French auction house Piasa to a group of investors that includes Hermès managing director Christian Blanckaert, former PPR chief executive Serge Weinberg and the socialist politician Laurent Fabius. Pinault, who also owns the Christie's auction business, retains 40 percent of Piasa through his Artemis private investment vehicle. Piasa last year had sales of 48.7 million euros, or $76.8 million at current exchange rates), up 34 percent compared to the previous year, according to a spokeswoman.

-FERRERO JOINS JOSEPH:
Prestigious retailer Joseph Group has tapped Sara Ferrero as its new chief executive officer. Ferrero was previously general manager at Furla for more than five years. She said she was drawn to the Joseph post due to the company's focus on retailing "with its variety of interesting and intriguing concepts," as well as the opportunity to focus on ready-to-wear. The executive's goal is to double the company's existing sales of more than 100 million euros, or $146.1 million at current exchange rates, in four or five years. Joseph is controlled by Onward Kashiyama Co. Ferrero will report to the group's board.