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M&A Shorts

Goldman Sachs adds Disney stock to its Americas conviction buy list, claiming that the studio will report back-to-back record earnings in the next two years. One analyst pointed to the recent Beauty and the Beast film as well as 4 Marvel films, 2 Star Wars film, and 3 animated films to hit theaters in 2018 as key drivers for consumer products. See TLL’s list of upcoming films with licensing potential through 2023 here.

The entertainment giant launches Star Wars Forces of Destiny, an initiative spanning animated shorts (2–3 minutes) to be supported by global product extensions—including a line of toys from Hasbro with new ‘Adventure Figures’, a fusion between traditional dolls and action figures.

Toys ‘R’ Us combines its Japanese, Greater China, and Southeast Asia businesses under a new joint-venture agreement with Hong Kong-based Fung Retailing Ltd.. The combined business, Toys ‘R’ Us Asia, will be approximately 85% under TRU leadership with the remaining percentage held by Fung Retailing. The Asia unit currently runs 223 stores in Greater China and Southeast Asia, while the Japan unit operates 160 stores in the country. Andre Javes, President Asia Pacific, continues to oversee all operations of the combined businesses, as well as Australia.

For the first time, Minecraft will allow independent third-party developers to sell their original creations (adventure maps, texture packs, and mini-games). Creators will receive over 50% of revenues, with app stores taking a requisite 30% cut. This news follows competitor Roblox closing $92 million in funding and launching a new payout structure giving developers the opportunity to earn up to $1.6 million per year.

Samsonite Intl. agrees to buy eBags, an online retailer of bags and related travel accessories, for $105 million by Q2 2017.

Payless ShoeSource files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The footwear retailer plans to close nearly 400 stores; its North American as well as two foreign Hong Kong-based entities—involved in logistics and supply chain—are included in a restructuring plan that aims to eliminate 50% of its debt load.

After buying back her underperforming Em makeup brand from L’Oreal, YouTube personality Michelle Phan is relaunching the brand on April 17 in a cheaper, more piecemeal format.

hhgreg will close all of its 220 stores in 19 states by the end of May. The electronics, appliance and furniture retailer failed to find a buyer since filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on March 6.

According to a report from JP Morgan analysts, Amazon is planning to spend $4.5 billion on video in 2017. This is compared to Netflix‘s estimated $6 million budget, and will be 2.25 times HBO‘s estimated spend on programming.









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