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.
EXCLUSIVE: @tomford is opening its first-ever beauty store. The boutique, which opens November 20 in London’s Covent Gardens, was designed with the over-the-top glam Ford is known for. Read the full story on WWD.com, link in bio. #wwdbeauty #wwdnews (📷: Simon Wagner) #TomFordBeauty
New York-based DJ @harleyvnewton threw a party to celebrate the holiday collection of her dress and pajama line @hvn at the Ladurée Beverly Hills. It Girls @katebosworth, @rashidajones and more joined in on the fun, which included cocktails, croque monsieur sandwiches and a photo booth. #wwdfashion (📷: Owen Kolasinski/BFA.com)
For the holidays, @Burberry partnered with 20-year-old artist @blondeymccoy on a series of three outdoor murals in downtown Manhattan. The murals are McCoy’s interpretation of a Christmas eve party, the idea of charity and the spirit of family. His third mural, pictured here, is the most personal. The image depicts McCoy’s grandparents and father in London’s Trafalgar Square in the Seventies. “My work often features lots of sentimental objects.” #wwdeye
For spring 2018, designers applied bold colors and cartoonish motifs on everything from sneakers and belts to key chains. See all the top men’s accessories trends on WWD.com. #wwdtrends (📷: George Chinsee; Prop Styling by @rnasti; Market Editor: @luiscampuzano)
The @dior-sponsored @guggenheim international gala pre-party has a history of drawing cool-girl musical acts to serenade the crowd –– and last night was no exception. @haimtheband performed songs both new and old, and lured a star-studded audience with the likes of Rebecca Hall, Kate Mara, Mamoudou Athie and more. #wwdeye (📷: @lexieblacklock)
In a partnership between the @metopera and the @englishnationalopera, “Marnie” was born. The opera, with costumes sponsored by @mrporterlive, is an adaptation of the 1961 thriller by Winston Graham. Arianne Phillips, who created the costumes, is no rookie: She’s styled Madonna for her tours and created costumes for a myriad of films in the past. Read WWD’s interview with Phillips, where she talks about her inspiration for the opera’s costumes on WWD.com #wwdfashion
@barneysnyc took a different approach to their holiday windows this year. Instead of Christmas decor, Barneys tapped @thehaasbrothers to tell a story of positivity, gratitude and inclusivity via heartwarming silliness and humor. “It’s about kids and it’s about coming together and being family and loving each other,” said Simon Haas. #wwdfashion (📷: @joshuascottphoto)
Beauty influencer @kandeejohnson makes her foray into hair care with a collaboration with @ogx_beauty — making it the first time that OGX has teamed up for a product creation. The collab includes shampoos and conditioners in three scents. At 39 and a mom, Johnson is a different profile than the emerging social media stars, but is considered one of the pioneers of the digital beauty influencer world. Read WWD’s interview with her on wwd.com, including the strangest beauty product she’s ever tried #wwdbeauty