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.
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast