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M&A & Legal: Fashion, Trade & Counterfeit

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VF Corp. names the new independent, publicly traded company that has been spun off from its jeanswear organization as Kontoor Brands. The separation will be completed in the first half of 2019 and the entity will comprise the WranglerLee, and Rock & Republic brands as well as the VF Outlet business.

Marquee Brands acquires outdoor sports and lifestyle brand Dakine and its related intellectual property. As part of the deal, Marquee signs a long-term license agreement with JR286, which has acquired the operating assets of Dakine and will become Marquee Brands’ long-term operating partner for the brand. Marquee’s portfolio includes the Bruno Magli, Ben Sherman, Body Glove, BCBGMAXAZRIA, and BCBGeneration brands, which together generate over $1.5 billion of retail equivalent sales.

Belgium is the first European country to join Alibaba’s Electronic World Trade Platform (eWTP), a “compliment” the World Trade Organization (WTO), following similar agreements in Malaysia and Rwanda. The e-commerce trade hub will include investments in logistics infrastructure and is designed to help countries reduce trade barriers for e-commerce trade, including lowering or eliminating tariffs and speeding up customs clearance.

In a case of what it describes as “seller’s remorse,” the the Malaysian resort company behind 20th Century Fox World brings a suit alleging that Fox and Disney are trying to back out of the theme park. Genting Malaysia Berhad has already spent $750 million on project, which is running years behind schedule but expected to open during the first half of 2019. Genting Malaysia alleges that Fox had delayed the theme park, which was announced in 2013 and supposed to open in 2016, by withholding approvals, withholding assets, or otherwise frustrating its development efforts. Later on during the Fox-Disney merger, Disney executives allegedly opposed the project because it would be located next to a casino and clash with the House of Mouse’s “‘family-friendly’ brand strategy.” The complaint was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California (Western Division).

The U.S. Soccer Foundation files a lawsuit against the U.S. Soccer Federation (USSF) in a in a dispute over who controls the Foundation’s name and branding marks. The USSF recently demanded that the Federation stop using its marks, which have defined the Foundation’s charity work in expanding access to soccer. While the Foundation and the USSF have worked collaboratively for over 25 years, the USSF has a distinct and separate mission as the official governing body of amateur and professional soccer.

Just under $1.7 million worth of counterfeit Nike sneakers have been seized by U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers. The more than 9,000 pairs were seized in September, just one month after the agency charged five NY residents with conspiring to traffic in more than $70 million worth of Air Jordans.

PlayMonster is getting an undisclosed infusion of capital and resources from Audax Private Equity, which it will parley into key toy categories including activities, infant and preschool, educational and vehicles. Earlier this year, the Wisconsin-based toy and game company acquired U.K. toyco Interplay and in 2016, it took over construction toyco Roominate.


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