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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.

Why Albertsons’ Purchase Of Safeway Is A Good Deal

Cerberus Capital Management LP, which controls the Albertsons grocery chain, purchased Safeway, the second-largest U.S. grocery chain, in a deal valued at approximately $9.2 billion. The transaction is expected to close in Q4 of 2014, but there is a 21-day period in which Safeway can consider other bids. The proposed acquisition will create a company that will operate 2,400 stores, 27 distribution centers, 20 manufacturing plants and employ more than 250,000 people. The move infuses the merged organizations with increased buying power and scale as supermarkets continue to lose ground to non-traditional food retailers.

Microsoft Purchases Multichannel Retail Suite From Junction Solutions

Microsoft Corp. has acquired JunctionMCR, the suite of multichannel software solutions from Junction Solutions designed specifically for the Microsoft Dynamics AX platform.  JunctionMCR is an enterprise app suite designed to provide retailers with cross-channel visibility between stores, the web site, catalog and call center. Built directly within Microsoft Dynamics AX, the solution offers functionality for managing merchandising, pricing and promotions, customer service, inventory, direct store delivery options and more.

Berkshire Partners Takes Majority Stake In Catalina

Berkshire Partners LLC has entered a definitive agreement to acquire majority control of CPG digital media solutions provider Catalina from fellow private investment firm Hellman & Friedman, LLC. Financial details of the transaction have not been disclosed.  Hellman & Freeman will remain a significant investor in Catalina. Hellman & Friedman initially acquired Catalina in 2007, shifting the company’s focus from grocery couponing solutions to developing an omnichannel digital media platform. Catalina plans to continue expanding its team of 1,350 employees worldwide, and will further establish operations in St. Petersburg, Fla.; Boston, Mass.; Chicago, Ill.; Paris, France; and Tokyo, Japan.

Barnes & Noble Receives Acquisition Proposal From G Asset Management

Private investment management firm G Asset Management has made a proposal to acquire 51% of Barnes & Noble for $22 per share. G Asset Management also formulated an alternate proposal in which it would acquire 51% of the Nook segment for $5 per share. The firm is “extremely confident that if the Nook segment is separated from the profitable retail and college business, substantial shareholder value would be created,” according to a company press release. The investment firm also indicated that Barnes & Noble is “substantially undervalued in its current form.”

Value Of Consumer Sector Mergers And Acquisitions Experience First Decline Since Recession

Many high-profile mergers and acquisitions (M&A) were announced during 2013, especially in the global consumer sector. However, the total annual value of these transactions has declined considerably compared to 2012, according to a report from Mergermarket. A total of $242.4 billion was exchanged in M&A agreements in 2013, an 11.6% decrease versus 2012 ($274.1 billion). This decline marks the first drop after three years of consistent year-over-year growth in M&A deal value.

Facebook Purchases WhatsApp For $19 Billion

Facebook has reached an agreement to acquire WhatsApp, a cross-platform mobile messaging company that allows users to send messages to friends and family via mobile broadband. The transaction will cost Facebook $19 billion: $4 billion paid in cash and $12 billion paid in Facebook shares. An additional $3 billion will…
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Signet Jewelers To Purchase Zale Corporation In $690 Million Deal

Signet Jewelers Limited — which includes the Ernest Jones, H. Samuel, Jared The Galleria Of Jewelry and Kay Jewelers brands — has announced that it will acquire all issued and outstanding shares of fellow specialty retail jeweler Zale Corporation. The deal is for $21 per share in cash, or approximately $690 million. Signet Jewelers Limited is the largest specialty jewelry retailer in the U.S., with more than 1,400 stores in all 50 states. Zale Corporation operates 1,680 retail locations throughout the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico, as well as online. Once the acquisition is finalized, Zale Corporation brands Zales and Peoples Jewelers will operate alongside Signet brands.

Jos. A. Bank To Acquire Eddie Bauer For $825 Million

Men’s apparel brand Jos. A. Bank has entered a definitive agreement with Everest Topco LLC, a portfolio company of Golden Gate, to acquire Everest Holdings LLC, parent company of outerwear retailer Eddie Bauer. The $825 million acquisition consists of $564 million in cash, in addition to approximately 4.7 million shares of common stock valued at $56 per share. Once the acquisition is finalized, Jos. A. Bank will move forward with an issuer tender offer to acquire 16.4% of its outstanding shares, worth approximately $300 million. Everest Topco will have the right to earn up to $50 million in cash based on Eddie Bauer’s 2014 profits. The combined company will “pursue a series of initiatives to drive long-term growth and margin expansion, including growing store count, driving store productivity improvement and pursuing product enhancement initiatives and new categories,” according to a company press release.  

Demandware Acquires Mainstreet Commerce

Demandware, a provider of cloud-based commerce solutions, has acquired Mainstreet Commerce, a privately-held order management company. Financial terms of the agreement have not been disclosed.  With approximately 20 common customers — including vineyard vines — Demandware and Mainstreet Commerce will converge to enable “buy anywhere, fulfill anywhere” customer experiences. The combination of the Demandware enterprise commerce platform and the Mainstreet Commerce distributed order management solution will help retailers simplify order orchestration between the web and the store.  

VMware Acquires AirWatch For $1.2 Billion

VMware, Inc., a virtualization and cloud infrastructure company, has announced that it will acquire enterprise mobility management solution provider AirWatch.  Under the definitive agreement, VMware will purchase AirWatch for $1.2 billion in cash and approximately $365 million in installment payments and assumed unvested equity. The acquisition is expected to close in late Q1 2014.

IBM Acquires Aspera

IBM has completed its acquisition of Aspera, Inc., a privately held company that accelerates the secure transfer of large files and data. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Using its patented fasp protocol, which is designed to break the bottlenecks inherent in broadband networks, Aspera can reduce the transmission time of a 24 gigabyte file being delivered halfway around the world from 26 hours to 30 seconds, according to a company press release. The fasp technology is licensed to cloud computing service companies, and will be integrated with IBM’s SoftLayer cloud infrastructure in 2014.  
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