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M&A Shorts

The United States Tennis Association (USTA) and Aramark partner to provide retail merchandise services for the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, home of the US Open. Under the multi-year agreement, Aramark will manage all aspects of the US Open Tennis Championships’ retail sales and merchandising operations throughout the grounds of the National Tennis Center. Aramark will collaborate with the USTA’s licensed merchandise partners to market and carry a vast assortment of distinctive, official apparel, souvenirs and keepsakes.

Authentic Brands Group acquires of a 51% stake in Frye, the iconic American heritage brand, from Global Brands Group. This is the first time ABG and Global Brands co-own a brand, although the companies have partnered on growing APG-owned brands in years past. The buy, along with the purchase of the Greg Norman brand earlier this year, propels ABG’s portfolio to over $5 billion in global retail sales.

PetSmart acquires online pet retailer Chewy, which will largely operate as an an independent subsidiary under current CEO Ryan Cohen.

Shop Direct is reportedly seeking £3 billion to buy out the online department store, which includes brands Very and Littlewoods. The etailer has received interest from a “clutch” of private equity firms, according to Retail Week.

Zuru files a new lawsuit against telemarketing firm Telebrands to protect its Bunch O Balloons product. Bed Bath and Beyond (who stocked the allegedly infringing Easy Einstein balloons from Telebrands) has also been included in the lawsuit. The action is currently playing out in the U.S. District Court for The Eastern District Of Texas.

Whoop and the National Football League Players Association (NFLPA), via its newly formed athlete-driven accelerator, the OneTeam Collective, partner up to make Whoop the Officially Licensed Recovery Wearable of the NFLPA. The Whoop Strap 2.0 will be distributed to every current and incoming NFL player to allow them to monitor (and potentially sell) their health and performance data.

Mobile-centric kids media company MarcoPolo Learning secures $8.5 million in funding in a round led by Boat Rocker Media, Horizons Ventures (Asia), Seedcamp (Europe), and the managing partners of DST Global. The company will use the money to fund its premium animated long-form preschool content for linear and digital platforms and early childhood education apps. Boat Rocker will handle global distribution for all of the new content.

Marvel Studios’ Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and Doritos are teaming up to introduce fans to the film’s anticipated soundtrack… with old school cassette players built-in to chip bags. Doritos will also set up pop-up recording booths in New York and Los Angeles for fans.


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