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Mergers & Acquisitions

The leading bidder for collegiate sports marketing agency Learfield Communications is now TPG Capital. As the majority stake owner of CAA, TPG plans to merge the two agencies if its rumored $1.2–1.3 billion bid is successful.

UBM, LIMA, and Alifish—the licensing and entertainment business unit of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba—join forces. In addition to online licensing matchmaking and training, live events, and education programs the partners will launch Licensing Expo China at the National Exhibition and Convention Center in Shanghai on Jul. 18-20, 2017. The show, co-located with CBME China (baby products and services) and Cool Kids Fashion Shanghai (kids’ fashion), plans to feature over 100 brands and properties as well as a series of lectures, webinars, and business matching and networking sessions.

Mattel expands in South Korea with a majority stake acquisition of Sonokong. Additionally, the Korean toy firm signs a two-year deal with Mattel for exclusive rights for sale, marketing and distribution of the American toyco’s products.

Coty is now the world’s third-largest beauty company after closing the acquisition of 41 beauty brands from Procter & Gamble, adding fragrance licenses (Hugo Boss, Gucci, Lacoste, Bruno Banani, Escada, Mexx, James Bond, Gabriela Sabatini, Stella McCartney, and Alexander McQueen), color cosmetics lines Cover Girl and Max Factor, and a number of professional hair brands. To help manage these, Coty is reorganizing itself into three segments: Coty Luxury, for prestige fragrance and skin care; Coty Consumer Beauty, containing color cosmetics, retail hair coloring, styling products, and mass-market fragrance and body care; and Coty Professional Beauty, serving hair and nail salon owners. The HBA company expects to generate $1 billion from the purchase over time, with profits expanding to 19.6%.

JazWings, the brand development arm of Jazwares, acquires educational girls athletic brand Go! Go! Sports Girls. The brand that helps to encourage healthy life skills, while its dolls, books, and apps support creative play.

After having invested over $40 million in the digital network, Warner Bros. is negotiating the purchase of Machinima. The final price is rumored to be below under $100 million after Warner Bros. rejected an option to buy the network for $150 million, or twice Machinima’s annual revenue of $75 million.

Newell Brands sells its tools business to Stanley Black & Decker, including the Irwin, Lenox, and Hilmor brands. Gross proceeds are expected to reach $1.95 billion once the deal in finalized in early 2017. Newell plans to keep its Demo Industrial labeling business, but has plans to sell its two winter sports units, Völkl and K2; its heaters, humidifiers, and fans business; and the Rubbermaid consumer storage business.

Discovery makes a $100 million investment in Group Nine Media, a move that will consolidate three outlets funded by Lerer Hippeau Ventures (social media newsco NowThis, food and travel site Thrillist, and animal destination The Dodo) with Discovery’s Seeker and SourceFed Studios. The five will retain their independent content teams, with shared services at the corporate level.

Outdoor apparel and gear brand Bergans of Norway shutters its U.S. subsidiary, Bergans USA, which has operated in North America since 2012.


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