Mergers & Acquisitions - Retail TouchPoints - Retail TouchPoints Tue, 18 Jun 2019 19:34:14 -0400 RTP en-gb Salesforce Acquires Big Data Firm Tableau For $15.7 Billion Salesforce Acquires Big Data Firm Tableau For $15.7 Billion

Salesforce has agreed to acquire data visualization platform provider Tableau in an all-stock transaction valued at $15.7 billion, making it the largest acquisition in the company’s history and combining one of the biggest CRM players with a major big data analytics platform.

The purchase is a clear indicator that Salesforce is seeking to offer more data insights to its clients, with a company statement placing a heavy emphasis on “driving digital transformation” across businesses in. With today’s retailers continually having to adapt to changing consumer preferences and developing a sharper focus on understanding data from all points of the shopper journey, Salesforce is looking to marry the concepts of CRM and big data even further.

Specifically, Tableau’s analytics and visualization capabilities are positioned to strengthen Salesforce Customer 360 and enable users to improve the customer experience by making smarter, more data-driven decisions to accelerate innovation.

Salesforce has a total of more than 150,000 clients, while Tableau works with 86,000 organizations. Tableau will operate independently under the Tableau brand, will remain headquartered in Seattle and will continue to be led by CEO Adam Selipsky and the current leadership team.

The acquisition comes a mere four days after Google acquired one of Tableau’s major competitors, Looker, for $2.6 billion, in order to add its BI software to Google Cloud. The deal also escalates the competition between Salesforce and Microsoft, which competes with Tableau through its Power BI data visualization and BI technology. Microsoft already competes heavily with Salesforce’s core CRM business with its Microsoft Dynamics customer relationship management technology.

In a press and analyst call, Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff revealed that Seattle would the official second headquarters of the San Francisco-based Salesforce. This move puts the company into the backyards of Microsoft and Amazon.

The transaction has been approved by the boards of directors of both companies and is expected to be completed during Salesforce's fiscal Q3, ending October 31, 2019. The deal is more than double the $6.5 billion Salesforce paid for application integration platform MuleSoft last year.

As part of the all-stock deal, each Tableau shareholder will get 1.103 Salesforce shares, valuing the offer at $177.88 per share, representing a premium of 42% to Tableau’s Friday closing price. The transaction is expected to increase Salesforce's full year total revenue by approximately $350 to $400 million.

The acquisition comes on the heels of a very successful Q1 for Salesforce. The giant solution provider had revenue of $3.74 billion during the quarter, an increase of 24% year-over-year, and generated $1.97 billion in cash alone, a 34% year-over-year jump.

Tableau reported $1.16 billion in revenue for 2018 with a net loss of $77 million, compared with $877 million in revenue and a $185.6 million net loss in 2017.

]]> (Glenn Taylor) Mergers & Acquisitions Mon, 10 Jun 2019 10:59:06 -0400
FTD Files For Chapter 11 Bankruptcy, Will Sell ProFlowers And Other Businesses FTD Files For Chapter 11 Bankruptcy, Will Sell ProFlowers And Other Businesses

FTD, the nearly 110-year-old floral and gifting company, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, revealing that it has enough liquidity to stay open through July but may not be able to fund operations beyond then. The company already has a deal in place to sell ProFlowers, along with the rest of its North America and Latin America consumer and florist businesses, to an affiliate of private equity firm Nexus Capital for $95 million.

Additionally, FTD sold its UK-based Interflora business, which is not part of the Chapter 11 filing, to a subsidiary of The Wonderful Co. for $59.5 million.

FTD also has signed letters of intent for the sale of two of its other e-Commerce businesses:

  • Personal Creations to an unnamed strategic investor; and
  • Shari’s Berries to Edible Arrangements founder Tariq Farid.

These two sales will still require the bankruptcy court’s approval.

The company has lined up $94.5 million in financing from its lenders to maintain operations, and plans to accept auction bids for approximately the next six weeks as it tries to pay off more than $200 million in bank loans and supplier bills, court papers say. FTD took on that debt when it acquired Provide Commerce, the parent company of ProFlowers, Shari’s Berries and Personal Creations, for $430 million.

At the time of the deal, ProFlowers directly sourced its flowers, allowing it to offer a wider variety of floral and gift products for lower prices. However, the company failed to unify the businesses, particularly in consolidating technological investments and combining marketing teams. Despite bringing in an established e-Commerce player, FTD continued to struggle in a market that includes, Teleflora, Bouqs and Amazon,with sales in its florist business falling 1% in 2016, 9% in 2017 and 9% again in 2018. Net loss in 2018 totaled $224.7 million.

The flower delivery retailer saw the writing on the wall last summer when its board initiated a review of strategic alternatives as well as a corporate restructuring and cost-savings plan. In March 2019, FTD noted in its annual filing that it needed to find a buyer or raise the money to pay down its $217.7 million in debt by June 1 to satisfy recent terms it set with creditors, or it risked going out of business. The debt itself has to be paid off by Sept. 19.

Last month, FTD announced that it did not file its Q1 earnings report in time, which prompted NASDAQ to notify the company on May 17 that it had 60 calendar days to submit a plan to regain listing compliance. FTD initially expected to file its Form 10-Q to regain compliance within the 60-day period, but now expects to be delisted after the Chapter 11 filing.

]]> (Glenn Taylor) News Briefs Mon, 03 Jun 2019 17:44:30 -0400
Payment Power Players Combine In $21.5 Billion Deal Payment Power Players Combine In $21.5 Billion Deal

Global Payments, an international provider of payment technology and software solutions, will merge with payments provider TSYS in an all-stock merger of equals valued at $21.5 billion. The combined company, to be called Global Payments, will provide payments and software solutions to approximately 3.5 million predominantly small- and mid-sized merchants and 1,300+ financial institutions across more than 100 countries.

The merger will allow TSYS to expand Global Payments’ e-Commerce and omnichannel solutions presence in the U.S., and provide further opportunities for multinational omnichannel market share gains. Additionally, Global Payments will have exposure to some of the fastest-growing digital payments trends through the TSYS issuer and consumer solutions businesses.

Upon closing, Global Payments shareholders will own 52% of the combined company and TSYS shareholders will own 48% on a fully diluted basis. The combined company will process more than 50 billion transactions annually in 38 countries physically and more than 100 countries virtually, generating expected pro forma adjusted net revenues plus network fees of approximately $8.6 billion.

Current Global Payments CEO Jeff Sloan will take the same position with the newly combined company, while M. Troy Woods, Chairman, President and CEO of TSYS, will become Chairman of the Board of Directors.

]]> (Adam Blair) Mergers & Acquisitions Tue, 28 May 2019 16:21:52 -0400
Zebra Technologies Will Acquire Profitect Zebra Technologies Will Acquire Profitect

Zebra Technologies, a manufacturer and seller of enterprise visibility and data capture solutions such as rugged handhelds, barcode and RFID readers, is acquiring prescriptive analytics firm Profitect for an undisclosed sum.

Zebra will leverage the acquisition of Profitect’s technology, talent, and skillsets to accelerate the development of its Savanna data platform and extend its Intelligent Edge Solutions portfolio. The Profitect core platform is designed to analyze data from across the value chain to help brands improve inventory and pricing accuracy and reduce out of stocks, supply chain inefficiency, unsellable merchandise and assortment discrepancies.

Additionally, the Profitect platform is designed to identify potential revenue opportunities for retailers, generate suggested actions and send them directly to an employee’s mobile device, providing step-by-step instructions for resolution.

The companies have had an established relationship for five years, with Zebra Ventures having invested in Profitect prior to the acquisition. The transaction is expected to close in Q2 2019.

]]> (Glenn Taylor) Mergers & Acquisitions Mon, 20 May 2019 17:27:42 -0400
Two Paths To Innovation: Kroger Debuts Investment Firm For Brands; Lowe’s Acquires Analytics Tech Two Paths To Innovation: Kroger Debuts Investment Firm For Brands; Lowe’s Acquires Analytics Tech

Two of the biggest traditional players in U.S. retail, Lowe’s and Kroger, have each made major pushes in the past year to ensure they are keeping up with major industry innovators. But this week these retailers made even bigger splashes, with Kroger launching an accelerator fund for consumer brands and Lowe’s acquiring retail analytics technology from Boomerang Commerce.

Kroger has partnered with Lindsay Goldberg, a private equity firm, to form PearlRock Partners, a platform designed to identify, invest in and help grow emerging consumer product brands.

The platform will be a part of Kroger’s alternative profit streams portfolio, which has been promoted as key to hitting the company’s 2020 Restock Kroger profit goals.Kroger’s alternative businesses include 84.51°, its data analytics subsidiary; Kroger Precision Marketing, which sells advertising to brands guided by 84.51° insights; and Kroger Personal Finance, which offers a credit card linked to its rewards program.

PearlRock Partners will leverage Kroger’s merchandising and predictive analytics capabilities and combine them with Lindsay Goldberg’s track record of investing in family-owned and founder-led companies to better position young brands for growth.

These brands could later be positioned on Kroger store shelves and even give the supermarket inspiration toward expanding its own set of private label offerings. Private label already makes up more than 25% of Kroger sales, led by the grocer’s Simple Truth organic and natural brands.

“The idea of investing in external firms with a view to potentially taking them in-house at a later date makes a lot of sense,” said Oliver Guy, Global Industry Director of Retail at Software AG in a RetailWire discussion. “These startups may well be much more innovative than a private label team that operates within the walls of a large established retailer.”

Instead of launching a new entity, Lowe’s decided its best move was to bring already-developed technology under its corporate umbrella. The acquisition includes tools and technology for Boomerang’s proprietary Retail Analytics platform, but doesn’t include the company’s customer contracts or related confidential information. Lowe’s will integrate the technology into its core retail business as a way to bolster strategic and data-driven pricing and merchandise assortment decisions.

Pricing and assortment planning are the company’s two biggest strategic areas in need of modernization, said Seemantini Godbole, Lowe's CIO in a statement. These modernization efforts are part of a larger initiative at Lowe’s for which the company is planning to invest between $500 million and $550 million in capital per year through 2021 to overhaul its technology. Godbole, who stepped into the role in November 2018, is overseeing the renovation.

Some associates from the Boomerang Retail Analytics teams based in the U.S. and Bangalore will join Lowe’s following the acquisition.

Boomerang Commerce’s CommerceIQ will serve as an independent business with the name, with founder Guru Hariharan serving as CEO.

]]> (Glenn Taylor) Omnichannel / Cross-Channel Strategies Mon, 20 May 2019 14:12:44 -0400
Chico’s FAS Rejects Second Buyout Proposal From Sycamore Partners Chico’s FAS Rejects Second Buyout Proposal From Sycamore Partners

The Board of Directors of Chico’s FAS, parent company of Chico’s, White House Black Market and Soma, has rejected an acquisition proposal from private equity firm Sycamore Partners for the second time in a month.

In the latest proposal, Sycamore said it sought to buy Chico’s FAS for $3.50 per share in cash, or approximately $407.8 million. David Walker, Chico’s FAS Board Chair, described the offer in a statement as “inadequate.” The latest offer was actually less than the initial proposal from Sycamore, which was for $4.30 per share. The proposed $3.50 price comes in nearly 8% below the company’s $3.85 per share stock price as of May 17, 2019.

The struggling apparel retailer is undergoing a major repositioning, closing 250 stores across the three retail banners through 2021 to further review its operations and cut costs. In April, CEO and President Shelley Broader abruptly departed, with an SEC filing later reporting that her exit was an “involuntary termination.” Bonnie Brooks, former Vice Chair, President and CEO of Hudson’s Bay Company, serves as Chico’s Interim CEO. The retailer is presently considering candidates for a permanent CEO.

The sought-after turnaround has been sluggish; Chico's FAS total comparable sales dipped 3.8% in Q4. Same-store sales fell 7.9% at the flagship Chico's brand and 2.9% at White House Black Market, with Soma being the lone bright spot: sales there rose 6.2%. For 2018, Chico’s FAS saw comparable store sales fall 4.9%. While the company saw net income of $35.6 million last year, revenue has declined every year since 2014.

The retailer has embraced tech-forward trends to improve its fortunes in 2019, debuting a tech-enabled fit bra for Soma and launching TellTale, an e-Commerce pure play intimate apparel business aimed at Millennials.

Sycamore is a minority owner of Chico’s, holding 6.6% of Chico's shares. The firm typically invests in retail and consumer companies, most notably acquiring Staples in 2017. The company also acquired and revived The Limited in 2017 and previously owned Nine West Holdings prior to its bankruptcy and exit.

Sycamore came close to acquiring Chico's in 2015, but the deal fizzled because the firm could not obtain financing, according to The Wall Street Journal.

]]> (Glenn Taylor) Mergers & Acquisitions Fri, 17 May 2019 15:50:10 -0400
TrueCommerce Acquires Supply Chain Management Platform Provider ecUtopia TrueCommerce Acquires Supply Chain Management Platform Provider ecUtopia

TrueCommerce has acquired fellow cloud-based supply chain collaboration and visibility platform ecUtopia for an undisclosed sum. With the acquisition, TrueCommerce gains a strategic technology service that strengthens its commerce network in several market segments, specifically home furnishings and apparel.

The TrueCommerce solutions are designed to help retailers connect their business across the supply chain under one global network, integrating processes including Electronic Data Interchange (EDI), inventory management and fulfillment, as well as e-Commerce hubs such as digital storefronts and marketplaces.

There are no immediate plans to rename ecUtopia, but the company will be rebranded under the TrueCommerce banner.

TrueCommerce, based in Pittsburgh, plans to integrate the ecUtopia operations into its own “where it makes sense,” according to a company Q&A posted on its web site. The ecUtopia San Diego office will operate as another Center of Excellence for TrueCommerce customers.

The companies will determine when and how they can extend TrueCommerce’s catalog of products and technologies to ecUtopia customers and offer additional services designed to help improve supply chain operations. In addition, the companies will immediately evaluate incorporating ecUtopia's platform and technology into the TrueCommerce Foundry platform.

]]> (Glenn Taylor) Mergers & Acquisitions Tue, 14 May 2019 12:59:22 -0400
Schick Parent Buys Harry’s For $1.37 Billion Schick Parent Buys Harry’s For $1.37 Billion

Harry’s has grown its direct-to-consumer (DTC) grooming brand via disruptive methods such as a subscription model and smooth packaging, but it appears to have found a new home under the umbrella of one of its more traditional competitors. Edgewell Personal Care, parent company of the Schick and Wilkinson razor brands and various other grooming and sun care brands, is buying Harry’s for $1.37 billion.

The purchase price surpasses the $1 billion that CPG giant Unilever spent to acquire DTC competitor Dollar Shave Club in 2016.

While Harry’s has primarily operated under the DTC model, the company has sold products through Target since 2016, and in 2018 began selling its products through Walmart. With its large portfolio of brands, Edgewell could help Harry’s move into more retailers and sales channels. For its part, a nimble, disruptive company like Harry’s could provide Edgewell with insights into how to improve products, customer experience and branding for a more digital- and mobile-savvy audience.

“The Harry’s brand has perfected the DTC model, and the Schick company will only benefit by bringing all of the talent, expertise and innovation in house,” said Brandon Rael, retail customer experience and strategy consultant in a RetailWire discussion. “Schick is taking a page from Walmart’s recent acquisition strategies (, Bonobos, etc.). Walmart has built an impressive portfolio of digital native brands. This has helped the iconic brand remain relevant, dominant and enabled them to attract and retain new customers.”

Edgewell’s shaving brands combined with Harry’s represent approximately 16% of sales in the U.S. shaving market, according to Euromonitor data cited in a New York Times report. Procter & Gamble, with its Gillette brand, represents 47.3% of category sales. P&G itself has made it a point to add more DTC brands to its portfolio via acquisition or in-house growth over the past two years, which likely gave Edgewell more incentive to bolster its personal care offerings.

Harry's Co-Founders and Co-CEOs Andy Katz-Mayfield and Jeff Raider will serve as Co-Presidents of U.S. operations at Edgewell.

Approximately 79% of the deal will be paid in cash and 21% will be paid in Edgewell common stock. Upon completion of the transaction, Harry's shareholders will own approximately 11% of Edgewell, the companies said.

]]> (Glenn Taylor) Mergers & Acquisitions Thu, 09 May 2019 15:07:04 -0400
Citing Price Concerns, UK Competition Watchdog Blocks Sainsbury’s-Asda Merger Citing Price Concerns, UK Competition Watchdog Blocks Sainsbury’s-Asda Merger

The UK’s chief competition regulator, The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), has blocked Sainsbury’s proposed £7.3 billion ($9.4 billion) takeover of Walmart-owned Asda. The rejected merger is a major setback, both to the British grocers that sought to compete against market leader Tesco, and to Walmart, which had plans to exit the UK market as it focused on newer international opportunities.

Upon the announcement, Sainsbury’s, Walmart and Asda mutually agreed to terminate the transaction.

The CMA prohibited the merger on “extensive competition concerns” related to an expected rise in prices or a worsening of quality, range or service on both a national and local level. Sainsbury’s CEO Mike Coupe was vocal in his disagreement with the decision.

"The specific reason for wanting to merge was to lower prices for customers,” Coupe said in a statement. “The CMA's conclusion that we would increase prices post-merger ignores the dynamic and highly competitive nature of the UK grocery market. The CMA is today effectively taking £1 billion out of customers’ pockets.”

Under the terms of the planned merger, Sainsbury’s would have operated several e-Commerce sites and more than 2,600 stores under banners including Sainsbury’s, Asda and Argos. Earlier this year, Sainsbury's and Asda promised to sell 125 to 150 of their supermarkets to allow the merger to proceed, along with some convenience stores and gas stations. The grocers also said the merger would save them a combined £1.6 billion, enabling them to pledge to shoppers that they would pass on £1 billion in price cuts. The companies said they would invite an independent party to hold them to this pledge.

As of March 2019, Tesco remained the leader in UK grocery market share at 27.4%, well ahead of Asda (15.4%) and Sainsbury’s (15.3%), according to data from Kantar Worldwide. A combined Sainsbury-Asda would have taken over the top spot at 30.7%.

For now, it appears Walmart will move forward with Asda as part of its international portfolio, according to Judith McKenna, CEO of Walmart International:

"While we’re disappointed by the CMA’s final report and conclusions, our focus now is continuing to position Asda as a strong UK retailer delivering for customers,” McKenna said in a statement. “Walmart will ensure Asda has the resources it needs to achieve that.”

As for Sainsbury’s, the supermarket chain will now have to come up with a go-forward plan for life without Asda after more than a year of preparing for the deal. The retailer had initially planned to cut prices on many popular products by as much as 10% in the wake of the merger, especially since Tesco had fortified its business by acquiring food wholesaler and convenience store operator Booker for $4.7 billion and forging a strategic alliance with France’s top grocer, Carrefour.

]]> (Glenn Taylor) News Briefs Thu, 25 Apr 2019 11:56:41 -0400
Mastercard Acquires POS Financing Provider Vyze Mastercard Acquires POS Financing Provider Vyze

Mastercard has purchased Vyze, a financing option offered at the retail POS that connects merchants with multiple lenders. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

“Both consumers and businesses want the best choice and service, exactly when they need it,” said Blake Rosenthal, EVP of Global Acceptance at Mastercard in a statement. “Vyze adds to our ability to empower banks and other lending partners to participate in the growing trend of retail financing. The combination of their platform with our technology and network complements our existing payments programs.”

Several leading U.S. retailers work with Vyze for special financing options. saw ticket sizes triple in the first week after introducing a Vyze-powered financing program.

“Shoppers looking for new ways to pay and merchants looking to sell higher ticket items and deter abandonments has driven a flurry of activity in the ‘Buy now, Pay Later’ market,” said Raymond Pucci, Director of Merchant Services Practice at Mercator Advisory Group in a statement.

“Mastercard has a long history of building an incredibly powerful network, connecting some of the world’s most influential financial institutions, merchants and innovators,” said Keith Nealon, CEO of Vyze. “With their relationships and scale, we see a great opportunity to reach exponentially more partners and consumers.”

]]> (Adam Blair) Mergers & Acquisitions Tue, 16 Apr 2019 13:13:39 -0400