Li & Fung to spin off licensing division

Hong Kong-based supply chain middleman Li & Fung said Thursday it will spin off its brand and licensing division into a separate company called Global Brands Group. News of the deal, which needs approval by the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, came as the supplier for US retailers including Wal-Mart and Target announced a 17% rise in 2013 profits on improved US performance. CEO Bruce Rockowitz will head the new company and COO Spencer Fung will become Li & Fung's chief executive.

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