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.
“What he has done at Vuitton is really exceptional,” said @gameofthrones’ actress Gwendoline Christie on @mrkimjones’ final show for @louisvuitton. “He has rebooted luxury in terms of making it commercial, viable and contemporary. And most importantly artistic. He has never compromised his artistic vision for the sake of commodity.” (📷: @zefashioninsider)
After seeing a demand for men’s wear from its customers, British contemporary women’s wear label @ariesarise has added a men’s wear component and will launch a unisex collection with @mrporterlive. The 20-piece collection includes jackets, denim, logo T-shirts and more with deconstructed ‘90s vibes. Set to launch on January 18, you can shop the pieces on Aries’ website and on mrporter.com. #wwdfashion
“And so spending so much time with a character who thinks like that, inevitability you try and analyze yourself and go back and think about your own demons and dark chapters that you had in your life,” says @thedanielbruhl of his role in TNT’s “The Alienist.” The show, set in the Gilded Age of New York, also stars Dakota Fanning and Luke Evans. Head to WWD.com to read about how 39-year-old Brühl prepared for the role and why he thinks the show is so relevant to today #wwdeye ( 📷: @Eriktanner)
Now that Celine Dion’s collection has topped $10 million in sales, the pop superstar, fashion icon and newly-minted industry player is eyeing growth in Asia. Read the full report by @tiffanyap, link in bio. #wwdnews #celinedion
“My personal philosophy to beauty is paying attention to oneself. I love to be outdoors, lots of fresh air, trying to take care of yourself as best you can. I always notice that comes through,” says Felicity Jones, the global face of @shiseido-owned @cledepeaubeauteus, which launches today. Head to WWD.com to read more about the actress’ love for beauty and how she prepared for her new role in “The Basis of Sex,” playing the young Ruth Bader Ginsburg. #wwdbeauty (📷: @dandoperalski)
Among the familiar faces at @off____white’s show was a surprise figure: Japanese artist @takashipom, pictured here on Wednesday morning. Other show-goers included @jerrylorenzo, who spoke about his upcoming project: a @nike collaboration for back to school, with designs inspired by his childhood on the West Coast. Sitting in the front row were Future, Don Crawley, @miguel and more. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: Stephane Feugere)
According to @laurentsai, former “Terrace House: Aloha State” cast member, she didn’t know she was auditioning for the Japanese version of “Real World.” “I was telling a couple of my friends and someone’s like, ‘That sounds a lot like Terrace House.’ I was like, ’No it can’t be.’” Turns out, it was. But Tsai isn’t just a reality star — she’s an illustrator who has worked with Starbucks Japan and most recently, she’s dipping her toes into the fashion world. Head to WWD.com to read about her time on the show, modeling and her art. #wwdeye (📷: @danieldorsa)
More changes are coming to New York Fashion Week: Beginning with the spring 2019 collection, @alexanderwangny will move his New York show to June from September, adopting a biannual schedule with collections shown in June and December. Additionally, the @cfda is planning for an official summer/winter fashion season taking place as soon as June and December 2018. Read more about the upcoming changes on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @slovekinpics)