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Aside from the Kmart/Sears and Jones Apparel Group/Barneys New York deals grabbing headlines, this year was a busy one. Excluding the $11 billion Kmart/Sears merger, the apparel sector had $6.9 billion worth of pacts, according to data from a MergerStat report. This compares with $4.4 billion worth in 2003. Figures are for acquisitions and mergers that had announced dollar amounts through November.

Of course, the bulk of the $6.9 billion in apparel mergers and acquisitions includes the closing of Pinault Printemps Redoute SA’s $3.5 billion takeover of Gucci Group. Still, there were some other hefty transactions in 2004. Here are highlights:

• In June, VF Corp. closed its takeover bid for Vans Inc., which cost $396 million.

• Jones Apparel bought Maxwell Shoe for $345 million in July.

• In July, Polo Ralph Lauren reclaimed the RL Childrenswear license from S. Schwab Co. for $250 million.

• In June, Reebok International bought Hockey Co. Holdings for $196 million.

• Kellwood closed on its $140 million acquisition of Phat Fashions in February.

• In April, J.W. Childs acquired Joseph Abboud from RCS Media for $73 million.

• In July, Ashworth bought Gekko Brands for $55 million.

• Nike Inc. in August said it was acquiring the Official Starter brand for $43 million.

• In June, Tandy Brands Accessories paid $10 million for Superior Merchandise.

This story first appeared in the December 7, 2004 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.