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M&A: Shakedowns in Fashion & Food

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Inspire Brands agrees to acquire Sonic Corp. in a $2.3 billion deal. The restauranteur’s portfolio includes 4,700 Arby’s, Buffalo Wild Wings, and Rusty Taco locations worldwide. This deal boosts Inspire’s total to 8,200 locations, making it one of the 10 largest U.S. restaurant companies by that measure. Inspire will continue to operate Sonic as an independent brand.

An “American” fashion conglomerate is born in the form of Capri Holdings as Michael Kors purchases Versace for $2.1 billion. The U.K.-based firm recently acquired Jimmy Choo in 2017 for $1.35 billion. Kors CEO John D. Idol told the NYT that, in addition to parallel growth opportunities and digital invention, the two brands share a “personality” that will overcome any cultural differences (see, a sense of humor topped off by sparkling sequins). Idol estimates that Versace will reach $2 billion in sales over the next few years, Choo $1 billion, and Kors $5 billion.

Chanel acquires Orlebar Brown, the British men’s swim and resort wear brand. The fashion conglomerate will exploit potential synergies between its brands and the digital native brand, including the women’s swimwear label Eres. Orlebar Brown founder Adam Brown will continue to lead the business as Creative Director alongside CEO Paul Donoghue.

Luxury conglomerate LVMH buys a majority holding in Jean Patou from Britain’s Designer Parfums Ltd. The French couture label will be revived through a relaunching of its ready-to-wear clothing collections. The label is best known for its “Joy” perfume.

Perfumania exits Chapter 11 bankruptcy after the court approves a plan to pay off most lenders with cash and release stockholders for $2 a share. Perfumania’s founding Nussdorf family has taken control of the fragrance seller they created back in 1980 and are working to restructure the company. The retailer’s total debt reached $253.9 million when it filed in August. The company managed to close 65 stores during the process after seeking to reject 161 unexpired leases—earlier in the year, it had slashed 43 stores—and is expecting to parlay into ecommerce.

Serta Simmons Bedding finalizes its merger with Tuft & Needle, and will begin integrating its Serta, Beautyrest, Simmons, and Tomorrow brands with the bedding e-tailer shortly.


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