Sycamore Partners sweetened its offer to buy The Talbots Inc. just slightly — boosting its price to $3.05 a share from the $3 proposed in December — and the companies agreed to negotiate exclusively until May 15.
And even though investors pushed the stock down 6.1 percent to $2.61, apparently out of worry that the price wasn’t enough to entice the board to sell, Sycamore’s continued interest in the chain underscored just how active the deal-making scene is right now.
Also on Monday, Perry Capital took control of Barneys New York in a debt-for-equity swap and Frederick’s of Hollywood Group Inc. posted a “For Sale” sign, saying it received “several inquiries regarding various transactions” and hired investment bank Allen & Co. to consider its options.
“It is an appropriate time to formalize the process,” said Thomas Lynch, Frederick’s chairman and chief executive officer.
Fashion mergers and acquisitions are on the upswing.
There were 62 deals disclosed in the apparel and footwear retail sector globally between Jan. 1 and May 2, carrying a total value of $3.66 billion, according to Dealogic. That’s about the same number of deals seen a year earlier, but just over twice the value.
In many cases, it’s brand names that are attracting interest in the marketplace.
“Buyers have taken the view that the brand identity is high fundamentally,” said John Coyle, partner and head of the New York office of Permira, the private equity firm. “Although oftentimes these are mature brands, they’re also stable and consistent. There’s a bit of opportunity to go after the cost side and then reinvest in pockets of growth.”
Coyle said the market could stay hot until the end of July, when retailers shift into back-to-school and holiday mode.
Marc Cooper, managing director and head of Peter J. Solomon Co.’s retail and apparel practice, added, “You’ll see companies acquiring growing brands to act as another leg of growth to businesses that might not be growing as fast.”
There will also be transactions involving distressed companies, takeovers by firms with better resources to manage a particular business and deals to launch into the digital age, Cooper said, noting that brick-and-mortar retailers are not going to “let the Internet leave them behind.”
Given the number of deals seen over the last week or so, it seems nobody wants to be left behind.
Among those deals: Ascena Retail Group Inc. agreed to acquire Charming Shoppes Inc. stock for $7.35 a piece —an 89 percent premium from Charming Shoppes’ stock price on Nov. 30, the day before the plus-size retailer said it hired Barclays to explore a sale; Collective Brands Inc. reached a $2 billion deal to split up and sell its operations; Marchon Eyewear Inc. acquired sports performance eyewear brand Dragon Alliance; YGM Trading inked a deal to buy Aquascutum Ltd.; the rights to the Fred Segal brand were sold to Sandow Media; Delta Galil Industries Ltd. agreed to acquire Schiesser AG, and Gildan Activewear said it would buy Anvil Holdings Inc.
As one of the most recognizable models in the world, Christy Turlington Burns has an insider’s view of the fashion industry and the allegations of sexual harassment swirling around it. “I can say that harassment and mistreatment have always been widely known and tolerated in the industry. The industry is surrounded by predators who thrive on the constant rejection and loneliness so many of us have experiences at some point in our careers,” Turlington told WWD, along with her suggestions for how the modeling world should protect younger women and men. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: Tony Palmieri) #wwdnews
@asics America has tapped a new brand ambassador: famed DJ/record producer @steveaoki. This initiative is intended to set the tone for the new brand identity and philosophy and will include partnerships with influencers and in-store and off-line activations that will continue into next year. This is Asics’ most significant marketing effort in two decades, and is expected to attract younger consumers to the brand. #wwdfashion
24-year-old Jean Prounis is redefining the rules of jewelry. Formerly a studio assistant to Jemima Kirke and a design apprentice at Ghuran, she focuses on handcrafted subtleties and ancient goldsmithing techniques. “There was a really sterile feel in the environment and I wanted to have jewelry with character that shapes how you wear it everyday,” Prounis said. Each piece is hand made in New York, either by Prounis or three other jewelers in the district. #wwdfashion
“These collections continue to build on that vision, empowering differently abled adults to express themselves through fashion,” said @tommyhilfiger of his line of adaptive apparel, which launches today. The line consists of 37 men’s and 34 women’s styles based upon the pieces from the spring Tommy Hilfiger sportswear collection. #wwdnews
“Stranger Things” is getting a new cast member for season 2. Meet @sadiesink_, the 15-year-old who will be joining the Netflix series for its new season. You may recognize her from “The Glass Castle” with Brie Larson and Woody Harrelson, but the Texas native’s next role goes in an entirely different direction. She describes her character, Max, as “a rough and tumble skater girl [who] becomes friends with the boys at school.” The second season debuts on October 27. (📷: @jgreenery) #wwdeye
Amid the Harvey Weinstein controversy, there’s another sector that’s being put under the spotlight for sexual abuse: the modeling industry. While rumors about abuse and sexual harassment of female and male models — and the photographers, agents and others who perpetrated it — have circulated within the fashion world for years, model @cameronrussell started posting stories from models on Instagram last week about abusive situations they’ve encountered — from sexual harassment and molestation to attempted rape. Over 75 have weighed in so far. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdnews
To celebrate its 16th anniversary, @dylanscandybar tapped designers and celebrities to create mosaics out of candy. The mosaics will be auctioned off to support the philanthropic cause of each participant’s choice. Pictured here is the mural created by @aliceandolivia's Stacey Bendet. For a first look at some of the other artwork being unveiled tonight, go to WWD.com. #wwdeye
The annual Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic in Pacific Palisades this weekend drew Kate Hudson, Tracee Ellis Ross, Laura Dern and more. See pictures of the star-studded event on WWD.com. (📷: @chelsealaurenla) #wwdeye
In his new book “Hollywood Royale,” Andy Warhol’s Protégé Matthew Rolston celebrates the Eighties revival of Hollywood glamour. Featuring more than 100 portraits taken by Rolston from 1977 to 1993, the book contains photos of icons like Michael Jackson, Cyndi Lauper, and @drewbarrymore, pictured here in 1991. “Hollywood Royale,” out today, will be accompanied by an exhibition opening at Los Angeles’ Fahey/Klein Gallery on March 1. #wwdeye