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DUTY-FREE UPDATE: LVMH confirmed this week that Myron Ullman will stay on as head of the DFS Group.
An LVMH spokeswoman also sought to calm the fears of some vendors who sell at duty-free giant DFS and expressed concern that the retailer would now be owned by a competitor. She said the only change at DFS will be that Louis Vuitton will now be sold at DFS, which didn't stock the line before.
In addition, an arbitration agreement drafted to allow LVMH's purchase of DFS is now the subject of a state court action in New York by Robert W. Miller, the sole minority shareholder of DFS, who is seeking to void the sale. A hearing is scheduled for Monday.
For its part, LVMH closed on the deal Dec. 17 and has maintained that the purchase is "legal and final."
AGON FOR ASIA: Jean-Paul Agon, who had been managing director of L'Oreal's consumer products and salon divisions in Germany, has been named managing director for Asia, a new post. He will be based at L'Oreal's Paris headquarters and report directly to chairman Lindsay Owen-Jones.
Agon, 40, will be responsible for coordinating the activities of L'Oreal's four divisions in Asia, except in Japan. Insiders at the company see his appointment as a signal of how important Asia is becoming to the firm.
TOP CONDITION: L'Oreal's Jacques Dessange hair brand is trying to sell French women on conditioners by introducing a new treatment product called Re-Structure and a reformulated range that combines vitamin E and silicone-derived polymers.
Julia Fedou, managing director of Lascad, the L'Oreal division that markets Dessange, said that only 18 percent of French women use conditioners, compared with 80 percent of American women.
Re-Structure, which executives say repairs and hydrates hair, hits shelves in France in April and will retail for $5.40 (30 francs) for a 100-ml. bottle.
Last year, total French conditioner sales were $78 million (434 million francs), and Fedou said she expects Dessange's efforts to boost them some 10 percent in 1997. Dessange already has the second best-selling conditioner brand in France after L'Oreal's Elseve.