Former Esprit chief ups stake in company to 5.99 pct

HONG KONG Wed Nov 14, 2012 5:02am EST

HONG KONG Nov 14 (Reuters) - A former senior executive of Esprit Holdings Ltd paid HK$271 million ($35 million) to increase his holding in the fashion retailer to 5.99 percent, according to a disclosure from the Hong Kong bourse on Wednesday.

Michael Ying increased his holding in Esprit to 116.2 million shares as of November 7, at an average price of HK$11.669 per share, from 93 million shares or 4.79 percent, according to the disclosure.

Esprit, which competes with the likes of U.S. group GAP Inc and Japan's Fast Retailing Co Ltd, last month proposed a one-for-two rights issue of new shares to existing shareholders to raise up to HK$5.25 billion to help rebuild its brand, which the company last year said had "lost its soul."

Its shares closed down 2.8 percent on Wednesday at HK$10.62, lagging a 1.2 percent gain in the benchmark index.

($1 = 7.7504 Hong Kong dollars) (Reporting by Donny Kwok; Editing by Anne Marie Roantree)

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