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M&A & Theme Parks

The VF Corp. acquires global workwear company Williamson-Dickie for approximately $820 million. Williamson-Dickie’s brands—Dickies, Workrite, Kodiak, Terra, and Walls—will join VF’s Imagewear coalition, which includes Wrangler, Riggs Workwear, and Timberland Pro. The transaction is expected to be complete in Q4 of this year, and Williamson-Dickie CEO Philip Williamson will remain with the company. With the deal, VF Corp.’s revenue is now expected to reach $11.85 billion in 2017, up 3.5%—an estimated $200 million will come from Williamson-Dickie.

Crown Crafts acquires online retailer Carousel Designs for $8.8 million. The site sells infant and children’s bedding and nursery decor, generating net revenue of $7.7 million for the year ending May 31. Carousel will be operated as a wholly-owned subsidiary, with current its CEO and President, Jonathan Hartley and Allan Sicat, respectively, remaining. The move is designed to expand Crown’s online and direct-to-consumer sales base.

Animation studio Factory Rights acquires Rollo Rights, whose portfolio includes Rupert Fawcett’s Off The Leash, David McKee’s Mr Benn, King Rollo, Victor & Maria, Towser, Watt the Devil, Art, Ric, and Dr Xargle. Rollo’s Clive Juster and David McKee remain on board to advise and assist Factory with the new division.

The Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman and his Skybound imprint ink a two-year deal with Amazon Studios, moving away from longtime partner AMC. The deal will see Kirkman and longtime collaborator Dave Alpert overseeing the Amazon slate with Skybound Co-presidents of film and television Bryan and Sean Furst. The Walking Dead and Fear the Walking Dead remain at AMC.

Why the move? Kirkman and series producers Gale Anne Hurd, Glen Mazzara and David Alpert have filed suit against AMC, alleging a fraud to keep them from their share of profits. They claim that because AMC owns both the production network and the network, it has artificially depressed the price the network pays to the production entity, effectively moving the profits to the network, while shares are paid at the production entity level. In a separate, but similar, suit by co-creator Frank Darabont, the argument was that the $2.4 million the network is paying for each episode is fraction of the $30 million per episode the show would bring if priced as a third-party transaction.

Branded Cities Network, a digital signage media company, acquire a full ownership of Clear Channel Outdoor Canada. The deal allows Branded Cities to offer brands more out-of-home media opportunities in Canada.

Dutch midprice apparel brand Mexx is acquired by RNF, a holding company that owns fashion, accessories and apparel labels. The transaction includes Mexx Perfumes, which is operated as part of a licensing agreement with Coty. Brands under RNF include Ferro footwear, as well as Umbro and Scout under license in GAS, Belgium, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands.

Theme Parks

See our list of upcoming branded theme park attractions worldwide here.

South Korea will soon see a new theme park, Lionsgate Movie World, boasting 1.3 million sq. ft. and seven dedicated movie zones for properties like Hunger Games, the upcoming Robin Hood, Now You See Me, and Twilight. Lionsgate partnered with Landing Jeju Development Co. Ltd. for the world-class resort, . Construction will begin in 2018, and the park is slated to open in 2019.

Stateside, Lionsgate teams up with Universal Orlando Resort and Universal Studios Hollywood to bring its horror film franchise Saw to life at the parks’ Halloween Horror Nights. From Sept. 15, park guests can visit a maze that features infamous traps from the franchise, including the upcoming eight installment, Jigsaw.

Peppa Pig recently made several character appearances at Woburn Safari Park in Bedfordshire, England. The keeper talks and demonstrations came at no extra cost to standard park admission.


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