While most retailers were trying to figure out how to run a holiday season in the midst of a surging pandemic, a few put the finishing touches on major deals. The ink is now dry on the following mergers, acquisitions or partnerships.
Coty purchases 20% stake in Kim Kardashian West's business for $200M
Coty has completed its $200 million acquisition of a 20% stake in Kim Kardashian West's business, the beauty products company said on Tuesday. Kardashian West will lead creative efforts, including communications through social media, while Coty will develop products, "to enhance a high growth, direct-to-consumer (DTC) first beauty brand," according to a Coty press release. The partnership will enter new beauty categories, including the launch of her skincare line in fiscal year 2022, and expand globally, Coty also said. The investment follows Coty's 2019 purchase of a majority stake in Kylie Jenner's beauty business for $600 million.
Ascena unloads Ann Taylor, Lane Bryant and others to Sycamore for $540M
Ascena Retail Group on Dec. 23 said that the sale of its Ann Taylor, Loft, Lou & Grey and Lane Bryant brands to "Premium Apparel LLC," (an affiliate of private equity firm Sycamore Partners), has closed. The companies previously said the brands would go for $540 million.
The deal proceeded despite objections earlier in the month from the U.S. Trustee, who had advocated for collecting more bids, including a possible auction. Sycamore has "committed to retaining a substantial portion of the retail stores, associates, and corporate operations affiliated with these brands," according to Ascena's press release.
The late-year deal marks the dismantling of Ascena's sprawling apparel portfolio after going bankrupt in July. The company also noted that FullBeauty Brands Operations has closed on its acquisition of Catherines' intellectual property assets and e-commerce business, which were sold at auction in September for $41 million, and that Bluestar Alliance completed its acquisition of tween brand Justice, which sold at a November auction for $90 million.
Simon finally buys Taubman malls for $3.4B
Last June, Simon Property Group tried to wiggle out of this acquisition, first announced in February, although that was widely seen as a ploy to drive down the initial $3.6 billion price tag. The haggling made its way into court, but in November, after Taubman agreed to trim the price, a new deal was struck.
Last Tuesday, Simon announced the deal to acquire an 80% stake in Taubman had closed, at last cementing a tie-up that many real estate observers had predicted for years. CEO David Simon has long said that the key to success for malls is high quality, and Taubman runs some of the most productive malls in the country, according to Wells Fargo analysts.
Still, not even such premium malls have been spared the challenges brought on by the pandemic. Both Taubman and Simon last month landed on a list of potentially troubled mall REITs compiled by S&P Global Market Intelligence.
Supreme goes to Vans owner V.F. for $2.1B
On Dec. 28, V.F. Corp. said its $2.1 billion purchase of cult-favorite streetwear label Supreme had closed. As a result, Supreme "has become a wholly owned subsidiary of VF Corporation," according to a company press release.
Supreme will be collaborating more with other V.F. brands like Vans, The North Face and Timberland, the company also said. And V.F. reiterated its expectation that Supreme will contribute at least $500 million in revenue in its next fiscal year and be "modestly accretive" this fiscal year. V.F. has also said that it will likely open more Supreme stores globally. Analysts and fans alike wonder whether Supreme can maintain its scarcity-driven model in light of V.F.'s plans for global expansion, including more brick-and-mortar stores.
Tiffany shareholders endorse new $15.8B takeover deal with LVMH
Another merger dispute that landed in court has been smoothed over, and LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton on Thursday announced that Tiffany & Co. stockholders the day before had "voted overwhelmingly to approve the modified merger agreement" announced Oct. 29, (nearly a year after approving the first one for $16.2 billion).
The transaction is now expected to close on Thursday, according to the LVMH press release.
Home Depot grabs back HD Supply for $8B
Over a decade ago, Home Depot sold off its HD Supply Holdings business, a national distributor of maintenance, repair and operations products, to private equity firms Bain Capital Partners, The Carlyle Group and Clayton, Dubilier & Rice. On Christmas Eve 2020, it bought it back for $8 billion.
That may have been a move to keep it from home improvement rival Lowe's, which reportedly was also interested in acquiring HD Supply. "HD Supply complements our existing MRO business," Home Depot CEO Craig Menear said in November.
MyTheresa files for an IPO
Global luxury e-commerce site MyTheresa, long a point of contention for debtors and other parties with interest in Neiman Marcus' operations, last week said it has filed a proposal with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to go public.
The number of shares to be offered and their price range have yet to be determined, according to a company press release.
FedEx closes on Shoprunner acquisition
As of last week, with its acquisition complete, Shoprunner is a subsidiary of FedEx Services, which in turn is part of FedEx Dataworks, "a new organization within FedEx Services focused on harnessing the power of the rich FedEx data ecosystem to transform the digital and physical customer experience."
ShopRunner's pre-purchase offerings and FedEx's logistics intelligence will allow merchants to find online customers and give them a streamlined shopping experience, the company said in its announcement of the deal early last month.