>> Samsung and US private equity firm Prodos joined forces to bid on the bankrupt Gianfranco Ferre in September — and last month, Italy’s minister of economic development approved the offer — but a source told WWD that Samsung is now having “second thoughts at the altar.” Furthermore: “Samsung is not giving the administrators the guarantees they had requested, such as keeping the company’s employees or on long-term projects. Now it’s up to the administrators again, and they are evaluating how to proceed.” Originally, Prodos had committed to keeping all of the company's 150 employees, whereas it was more unclear whether Ferre's current designers, Tommaso Aquilano and Roberto Rimondi, would stay on. Now, the source suggests the holdup is contingent on the fact that Samsung, Prodos, and the administrators "may have agreed on strategies, but not on the operative decisions, such as the choice of a chief executive or of a creative designer.” [WWD]