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.

Nordstrom Breaks Off Buyout Talks With Founding Family

Two weeks after rejecting an $8.4 billion offer from the Nordstrom family to buy out the department store and take it private, a special committee formed by the company’s Board of Directors has called off acquisition talks entirely. In a statement, the special committee indicated that it could not reach an agreement with the family on “an acceptable price for the company.” Nordstrom is “well positioned to capitalize on future opportunities to gain market share through its customer strategy,” according to the statement. This strategy is centered on three strategic pillars:

L’Oréal Acquires ModiFace, Delivering AR Capabilities To 34 Beauty Brands

L'Oréal has acquired Canada-based ModiFace, a developer of augmented reality (AR) beauty apps, for an undisclosed sum.As part of the company's ongoing digital strategy, L'Oréal expects to extend the app developer’s AR and AI tools to its 34 international brands, which include Lancôme, Kiehl’s, Giorgio Armani, Urban Decay and Maybelline. The deal is significant for L'Oréal, since it is the first tech acquisition for the beauty brand. L'Oréal can gain more knowledge of the AR technology and roll out more digital and mobile services such as virtual makeup tests.

CreativeDrive Acquires 3D Visualization Startup For $100 Million+

CreativeDrive, a global independent creative and content creation company, has acquired Decora, a 3D visualization and augmented reality (AR) startup, in a structured deal potentially worth more than $100 million, according to a company statement. Decora provides scalable 3D product models and hyper-realistic CGI scenes for use in product visualization, AR and immersive experiences. CreativeDrive creates scenes tailored to retailers’ needs using assets that can be rendered into 360-degree product shots and integrated into a web site. Users can rotate the scenes, allowing clients to show off a complete image of their product. Retailers can use the scenes in augmented reality programs as well, allowing consumers to see products in their homes digitally before making a purchase.

Gladson Acquires FSEnet+ and Webcollage

Gladson has acquired FSEnet+, a product data management and syndication provider, and Webcollage, a cloud-based platform that allows manufacturers to manage and publish rich product information for retailer sites. Gladson provides brands with a digital content hub of consumer goods product information and images, as well as store optimization services. "Our clients are struggling working with multiple providers of product information and digital assets due to inconsistent formats, and ever changing product labeling and packaging,” said Paul Salay, CEO at Gladson in a statement. “Retailers and other data recipients need complete and consistent data to power their e-Commerce web sites and to optimize their shelf management process. By combining the FSEnet+ product data management engine with the Webcollage platform, Content Publisher, we have taken significant steps to enable a more efficient transfer of information between supply and demand."

Nordstrom Acquires Conversational Commerce, Digital Selling Platforms

To keep pace in the sprint to integrate online and offline shopper experiences at every touch point, Nordstrom has acquired two Seattle-based retail technology startups: BevyUp and MessageYes. BevyUp is a platform designed to enable sales associates to communicate with each other on the back end, encourage shoppers to share product information with each other and browse items together online. Nordstrom will incorporate the platform into a new mobile app for employees that the retailer will roll out later in 2018.

Astound Commerce Merges With Fluid To Create Digital Experience Agency

Astound Commerce has merged with Fluid, a digital CX and software solutions company, to create a commerce-led digital experience agency. The combined organization will provide digital design, consulting and engagement marketing. The merger doubles U.S. operations for Astound Commerce, adding a presence in New York to its offices in San Francisco, London, Munich, Hamburg, Dubai and Toronto. The combined company will employ nearly 800 people. Astound Commerce CEO Igor Gorin will lead the merged company as CEO.

Nordstrom Rejects Family Offer To Acquire The Company

A special committee of the Nordstrom Board of Directors rejected an acquisition proposal from members of the Nordstrom family, determining that the bid, worth approximately $8.4 billion, was inadequate. The founding family members who crafted the bid include company Co-Presidents Blake W. Nordstrom, Peter E. Nordstrom, and Erik B. Nordstrom; President of Stores James F. Nordstrom; Chairman Emeritus Bruce A. Nordstrom; and Anne E. Gittinger,the granddaughter of company Co-Founder John W. Nordstrom.

Amazon Advances Into Home Security With $1 Billion Ring Acquisition

Amazon has acquired smart doorbell manufacturer Ring, giving the e-Commerce giant a greater presence in home security, connected home devices and in-home delivery. The deal is worth $1 billion, according to Reuters. In October 2017, Amazon unveiled its Amazon Key in-home delivery service, whichcombined the Amazon Cloud Cam with smart lock technology to provide couriers with unattended access to Amazon Prime members’ homes. The entire delivery is recorded on the camera and is designed to address the challenge of package theft, but the launch of the service predictably drew criticism for its general concept and potential security loopholes.

Bazaarvoice Acquires AddStructure To Enhance CGC Offerings

Bazaarvoice, a provider of consumer-generated content (CGC), advertising and personalization solutions, has acquired search and discovery e-Commerce applications provider AddStructure for an undisclosed sum. Bazaarvoice intends to strengthen its core CGC offerings of online ratings and reviews and enhance shopper profiles across its network with the acquisition. The AddStructure platform uses machine learning and natural language processing technology to analyze CGC data, to help extract and summarize product reviews based on key themes and sentiment. The platform will be applied to Bazaarvoice shopper data to deliver new products and future enhancements.

NMI Acquires Creditcall To Create Omnichannel Payment Platform

NMI, which specializes in card-not-present (CNP) payments, will acquire NMI, adding EMV and card-present expertise to the combined companies’ portfolio. NMI provides payment enablement technology to Independent Sales Organizations (ISOs), ISVs, VARs and payment facilitators. The acquisition brings together NMI’s nearly two decades of e-Commerce and m-Commerce experience with Creditcall’s support for EMV chip card, swipe and contactless enabled payment devices. The combined company accounts for more than $45 billion in annual payment volume, more than 165 processor integrations and 100+ device certifications worldwide.

Albertsons-Rite Aid Merger Shakes Up Both Grocery And Pharmacy Sectors

Albertsons Cos., parent company of supermarkets Albertsons, Safeway, Jewel-Osco and Acme, has reached a definitive merger agreement with Rite Aid to create a combined company that could generate as much as $83 billion in 2018 revenue. The merger would bring privately-backed Albertsons onto the New York Stock Exchange, finally taking the company public more than two years after filing an S-1 with the SEC.

H-E-B Expands Delivery Offerings With Favor Acquisition

By 2024, 70% of U.S. consumers will be shopping for groceries online, according to a recent study from Nielsen and the Food Marketing Institute. Supermarkets are scrambling to set up customer-facing ordering and delivery solutions to handle this growing wave. H-E-B has made a rare acquisition, purchasing Favor Delivery for an undisclosed sum. Favor, founded in 2013, now serves 50 cities in Texas after doubling its footprint in 2017. The Austin, Texas-based company deploys 50,000 contract delivery people, called Runners, to bring groceries and restaurant orders to consumers.

Walmart Tech Incubator Acquires VR Specialist Spatialand

Walmart's technology incubator Store No. 8 has created its third portfolio company, with the acquisition of virtual reality (VR) platform and content studio Spatialand. The combined team will develop and explore new products and uses of VR that Walmart can use, both in-store and online. Spatialand's focus has been on turning existing content into VR experiences, so the acquisition may be more about turning Walmart store and site content into VR than creating an experience from scratch.

Capgemini Buys LiquidHub To Augment Digital Consulting

Capgemini has acquired LiquidHub, a digital customer engagement firm that specializes in customer experiences. The acquisition will reinforce Paris-based Capgemini’s digital consulting capabilities in North America and accelerate its portfolio shift in the region.

Evergage Acquires MyBuys Merchandising Business From Magnetic

Evergage, a personalization platform provider, has acquired the MyBuys merchandising products business from Magnetic, a digital advertising technology provider. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. The acquisition extends Evergage's retail penetration and brings a wider array of personalization capabilities to clients of MyBuys. This extension is vital to the company as personalization continues to play a greater role in retail.
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