This year saw a rush of mergers and acquisitions and with two weeks left, it’s likely that we’re not finished yet. Many were smaller deals — less than $100 million — while others were significant for the brand or its market position, such as Lion Capital’s majority stake in John Varvatos or TSG Consumer Partners’ separate investments in Rebecca Minkoff and Alexis Bittar. The following are the top dozen deals where transaction values were disclosed. A NEW ALLIANCE: In June, Walgreen Co. said it would acquire a 45 percent equity stake in Alliance Boots GmbH in a cash-and-stock deal valued at $6.7 billion. The resulting entity has more than $110 billion in combined revenue and more than 11,000 stores in 12 countries. After setting up the first global pharmacy-led health and beauty group, Walgreens has the option of acquiring the remaining 55 percent of Alliance in three years.
WARNACO’S NEXT CHAPTER: PVH Corp. in October signed a $2.9 billion deal to acquire Warnaco, reuniting PVH’s Calvin Klein with the brand’s two largest apparel categories: underwear, which Warnaco owned, and jeanswear, for which it held the license. The acquisition included Speedo, Warner’s and Olga and turned PVH into an $8 billion giant. COLLECTIVE SPLIT: Collective Brands Inc. in June completed a $2 billion transaction with a consortium of investors that broke up the company. Wolverine World Wide Inc. acquired Collective’s Performance + Lifestyle Group (Sperry Top-Sider, Saucony, Stride Rite and Keds) for just over $1.2 billion, while two private equity firms, Blum Capital Partners and Golden Gate Capital, acquired Payless ShoeSource and related licensing business for $800 million. DOUGLAS SAYS YES: German perfumery, jewelry and fashion retail group Douglas Holding AG this month agreed to a $1.9 billion marriage proposal from U.S. buyout firm Advent International Corp. after nearly a year of talks.
NO CROCODILE TEARS: Lacoste family shareholders last month agreed to sell their shares to Swiss retail group Maus Frères SA in a deal valued at $1.3 billion. Maus already owned 35 percent of the capital of Lacoste through its subsidiary Devanlay.
CHARMING, INDEED: Ascena Retail Group, formerly The Dress Barn Inc., acquired Charming Shoppes Inc. for $890 million. Charming’s nameplates include Lane Bryant, Cacique, Fashion Bug and Catherines Plus Sizes, although the Fashion Bug chain has since been shuttered.
VALENTINO’S DAY: Mayhoola for Investments, an investment vehicle backed by a private investor group from Qatar, agreed to pay $858 million to acquire Valentino Fashion Group. The deal, between Mayhoola and Red & Black Lux Sarl, a company indirectly controlled by the Permira Funds in partnership with the Marzotto family, gave Mayhoola Valentino SpA as well as the M Missoni licensed business. VFG’s Hugo Boss and MCS Marlboro Classics units remain owned by Red & Black.
ROBOTIC MOVES: Kiva, a technology firm that combines material -handling with control software to automate services at fulfillment centers that process e-commerce orders, was acquired in March for $775 million by Amazon.com Inc.
PRIVATE PLAY: Nike Inc. in November signed a deal to sell Cole Haan to private equity firm Apax Partners for $570 million. The sneaker giant bought the brand in 1988 for $95 million in cash and debt.
TOP OF THE HEAP: Last week, Sir Philip Green completed the sale of a 25 percent stake in his Topshop-Topman businesses to U.S. private equity firm Leonard Green & Partners (no relation) for $564 million. The deal gave Arcadia Group Ltd., Philip Green’s investment umbrella, zero bank debt and a balance sheet that is cash positive — and a war chest for future acquisitions.
ANOTHER STOP: PPR SA’s U.S. Redcats retail unit reached a deal last week to sell its plus-size apparel business, OneStopPlus Group, to two Massachusetts-based private equity firms, Charlesbank Capital Partners and Webster Capital, for $525 million. Brands under the OneStopPlus Group include OneStopPlus.com, Roaman’s, Jessica London, KingSize and BrylaneHome. The OneStopPlus deal completes the sale of all assets under Redcats’ U.S. operation.
L&T SHIFT: Hudson’s Bay Co. restructured in January and in the process invested $427 million in Lord & Taylor to reduce the chain’s debt. It’s a move that made Hudson’s Bay the operator of the American retailer, which previously was an affiliate under the former Hudson’s Bay Trading Co. umbrella. In November, Hudson’s Bay completed an initial public offering on the Toronto Stock Exchange.
@kith is moving into children’s. The men’s and women’s streetwear brand has launched Kidset, a Kith kids line located in New York at 64 Bleecker Street. The line includes mini versions of staple Kith pieces like the Astor bomber jacket and the Kith box logo sweatshirts, along with a wall that can display up to 120 pairs of shoes from @adidas, @newbalance, @timberland and more. #wwdfashion
“I just wanted to create this fully rounded character, but I do think what excited me most was just the opportunity to give a group of people representation that I feel needs it. I like to do characters in projects that stand for something and Karolina definitely does, so that was really exciting to me,” @ginnygardner says of her new role in @hulu’s “The Runaways.” Gardner plays Karolina Dean, a queer superhero, which is a rarity for @marvel. Read more about Gardner’s character on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @dandoperalski)
@heriethpaul and @gracebol have a moment on the @victoriassecret fashion show 2017. See every look from the runway on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: @giovanni_giannoni_photo) #wwdfashion #victoriassecret #VSFashionShow
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia