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Mergers & Acquisitions

It’s not easy to stay on top of the latest company realignments in the retail industry. It’s a volatile environment — across retailer segments as well as solution provider organizations. As soon as the announcements are made, Retail TouchPoints publishes an article covering the news, in this Mergers & Acquisitions section. Learn about the latest developments here.

Amazon Displays Massive Buying Power: Are Other Retailers Next?

Amazon’s $13.7 billion acquisition of Whole Foods Market sheds light on a stark reality within retail — Jeff Bezos is willing to pony up big money if it means his company takes the pole position within a vertical. Of Amazon’s 70+ acquisitions, the Whole Foods purchase has made the most noise; and it surely has retailers shaking in their boots knowing that the e-Commerce giant can acquire pretty much any merchant it wants. The takeover deal is more than 15 times the value of Amazon’s second-largest retailer acquisition: Zappos in 2009, according to FactSet. So what made Whole Foods so vital for Amazon to spend such an exorbitant amount?

Amazon Gobbles Up Whole Foods For $13.7 Billion

Amazon hasn’t been shy about its desires to push into grocery — but it has just made a big and definitive move. The e-Commerce giant will acquire Whole Foods Market for $13.7 billion in an all-cash transaction valued at $42 per share, scooping up the brand’s 431 stores and logistics capabilities. The acquisition marks Amazon’s largest transaction ever, and it shows that the company’s grocery ambitions reach far beyond the AmazonFresh pickup locations presently being tested in Seattle.

FTC Reportedly Recommends Blocking Walgreens-Rite Aid Merger

After months of speculation, the long-awaited Walgreens-Rite Aid merger may be closer to falling through than actually being consummated. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) staff is recommending the agency file a lawsuit to block the deal, according to a report from the Capitol Forum. The staff remains unconvinced that the proposed divestiture buyer, drugstore chain Fred’s, can fill in the competition gap opened by the Rite Aid sale. Walgreens initially was going to sell 865 Rite Aid stores to Fred’s for $950 million, but more recent agreements indicate it is willing to divest as many as 1,200 stores and slash the price of the merger to obtain regulatory approval.

BCBG Sells Assets To Exit Bankruptcy

Fashion retailer BCBG Max Azria Group has reached an agreement to sell most of its assets to brand acquisition and development company Marquee Brands, and apparel and footwear company, Global Brands Group Holding Limited for an undisclosed amount.

No Longer For Sale: Neiman Marcus Takes Itself Off The Shelf

  • Published in News Briefs
Three months after hanging out a “For Sale” sign, Neiman Marcus has taken itself off the market, said CEO Karen Katz during a recent earnings call. Neiman Marcus had been in talks with Canadian department store Hudson’s Bay regarding a possible acquisition that would have combined the retailers, but the…
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Verizon Finalizes $4.5B Yahoo Acquisition, CEO Mayer Resigns

It’s official: Verizon has completed its purchase of Yahoo for a price tag of $4.48 billion. The long-awaited acquisition will combine Yahoo’s AOL assets into a subsidiary called Oath, which includes 50 media brands — including AOL.com, HuffPost, Yahoo Sports, Yahoo Mail and TechCrunch — and one billion people globally.

Abercrombie Preps For Possible Buyout

Embattled teen retailer Abercrombie & Fitch is in preliminary discussions with “several parties” regarding a potential transaction. The company is working with an investment bank to find a buyer, according to a report from Reuters. Apparel chains Express and American Eagle Outfitters are two suitors for the brand, according to the Wall Street Journal. Abercrombie has seen sales and net income decline for four straight years, and the brand has not been able to financially capitalize on recent rebranding efforts that have pivoted the company away from its formerly controversial image.

Coach Seeks To Bag Millennials, Acquires Kate Spade For $2.4 Billion

After being the subject of sale speculation for months, Kate Spade has finally found its buyer. Fellow luxury handbag seller Coach has purchased the Kate Spade brand for $2.4 billion, or $18.50 per share. Coach CEO Victor Luis said in a statement that the brand is aiming to capture more brand awareness among Millennial consumers. While the consolidation of two major luxury handbag brands appears to be redundant, cross-purchasing behavior among buyers indicates that few consumers are both Coach and Kate Spade buyers. Of shoppers who bought at least one Coach item online in the 12 months ending in March, just 15% of them also bought a Kate Spade item, according to data from NPD Group’s Checkout Tracking branch.

Jimmy Choo Steps Closer To A Sale

UK-based luxury footwear retailer Jimmy Choo has put itself up for sale in a move to maximize the brand’s shareholder value. Jimmy Choo will conduct a review of its various strategic options going ahead, although there is no certainty that an offer will be made. The company discussed the strategic…
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Sports Direct Scores Eastern Outfitters Brands For $101 Million

UK-based Sports Direct has acquired Bob's Stores and Eastern Mountain Sports from parent company Eastern Outfitters LLC for $101 million in cash. The move will save 50 combined stores under the two brands, which predominantly sell sports and casual wear, and outdoor and camping equipment. When Eastern Outfitters filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in February, Sports Direct initially reached an agreement with the firm to become a stalking horse bidder at its bankruptcy auction.But instead Sports Direct agreed to a purchase, after other creditors objected to the bidding process.

Walmart Buys Shoes.com Intellectual Property For $9 Million

Walmart is continuing its e-Commerce spending spree, with the retail giant acquiring the domain name and intellectual priority of defunct online retailer Shoes.com for $9 million. The Shoes.com web address still exists, but one click on the page will redirect consumers to Walmart’s recently acquired ShoeBuy unit. The intellectual property includes the company’s logos and social media accounts, according to documents posted on the web site of professional services firm Alvarez & Marsal Canada.

PetSmart To Acquire Chewy For Record $3.35 Billion

PetSmart is acquiring online pet supplies retailer Chewy for a reported $3.35 billion. While neither company confirmed the acquisition price, the sum (as reported by Recode) makes this the biggest e-Commerce acquisition ever. The reported total outstrips Walmart’s $3.3 billion acquisition of Jet.com, but it plays out in a similar scenario: the brick-and-mortar leader acquires a valuable, rapidly rising e-Commerce brand that enhances its reach to consumers. Like Walmart and many other big box counterparts, PetSmart aims to adapt to shifting consumer demands and expectations by positioning itself to generate revenue and gather insight from a younger, online-savvy merchant.

Supervalu Acquires Unified Grocers For $375 Million

Supervalu has acquired wholesale grocery and specialty distributor Unified Grocers in a transaction valued at approximately $375 million, consisting of approximately $114 million in cash for 100% of outstanding Unified stock. As part of the deal, Supervalu will assume approximately $261 million in debt. The acquisition expands Supervalu’s wholesale distribution business to the West Coast, where the company currently operates only a single distribution center in Tacoma, Wash. Most of Supervalu’s operations are in the Midwest, East and Southeast U.S.
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