Year of the Deal: The Top Dozen

No less than 65 deals were done by mid-December, and still a few more are edging toward completion before the year is up.

A Lacoste store.

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.

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.

This story first appeared in the December 10, 2012 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

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 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.

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.