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.
@zacposen's go-to holiday gift? Cookies! "I'll usually bake cookies and send them as a gift," said the designer, who recently released his cookbook "Cooking With Zac: Recipes from Rustic to Refined." Get the recipe for his Brown Butter-Chocolate Chip Cookies via link in bio 🍪🍪🍪 #wwdeye #cookingwithzac
For @monsemaison’s pre-fall 2018 collection, Fernando Garcia and Laura Kim honed in on the brand’s many signatures — men’s wear, which was tweaked and feminized through deconstruction, proportion play and lots of bare shoulders. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: George Chinese)
On Friday night, @yohjiyamamotoofficial received the Design for Asia Lifetime Achievement Award in Hong Kong. The 75-year-old designer has been celebrated for many years and is best known for his dark and avant-garde tailoring. “In my long career, in design, architecture, [I’ve been to] so many parties, this is the very first time that I have such a warm feeling, I really appreciate this,” Yamamoto said. #wwdfashion (📷: @dominiquemaitre)
Discovery is collaborating with British pop artist @philipcolbert on a new line of clothing and accessories called Discovery Shark. The collection, which will launch next summer for Shark Week’s 30th anniversary, features a whimsical line of women’s and men’s bomber jackets, sweatshirts, bags and more. #wwdfashion
“I’m always a big champion of a female rapper, and I’m glad to see a new voice that feels unique and authentic that’s coming up, and I think we’re going to see more great things from her,” said @itsjeremyscott about @iamcardib, who performed at @moschino’s Art Basel Miami Beach party last night. #wwdeye (📷: @lexieblacklock)
@janellemonae’s “What’s Your Frequency?” room in @refinery29's #29Rooms made its debut this week at the opening of the Los Angeles art exhibit. “It’s about the ongoing conversation around mass surveillance, the weaponization of technology and cultural uniformity. My space was created so that we can come together and talk about the complexities of our humanity,” said Monáe. #wwdeye (📷: @bucknerphoto)
@pantone announced their Color of the Year 2018: Ultra Violet. Nearly 20 months after the musician Prince’s death, fashion is having a purple moment. Varying shades of purple appeared on spring or fall runways, from @christopherkane to @calvinklein. @gucci’s Alessandro Michele bathed his fall runway in ultra violet-colored light at one point. Pantone 18-3838 is meant to “push the boundaries of what inspires us to look upward and outward to the future.” #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @kukukuba)