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Mergers & Acquisitions

Global Brands Group purchases a majority stake in Sean John, Sean “Diddy” Combs’ men’s lifestyle brand, as well as Combs’ hip-hop fashion brand Enyce. Sean John, which has annual retail sales of $450 million, operates under a completely licensed model; current licensees and an exclusive retail partnership with Macy’s will be retained.

Cherokee Global Brands (owner of Cherokee, Tony Hawk, Sideout, and Everyday California) enters into a $95.8 million share purchase agreement to acquire outdoor footwear company Hi-Tec Sports Intl. Holdings B.V., whose Hi-Tec and Magnum brands earned an estimated $143 million in worldwide wholesale sales. Cherokee will turn Hi-Tec into a branded licensing model (sales of its operations will bring an estimated $62 million); it expects $19 million in licensed revenue in the first year. Cherokee has already secured agreements for core footwear categories in the U.S., Canada, U.K., continental Europe, and South Africa—and will maintain current worldwide distribution agreements.

CNN acquires video-sharing app Beme. In a multiyear development deal, the app will be closed and a news media venture will launch this summer to be led by creators Casey Neistat and Matt Hackett.

NBCUniversal makes another $200 million investment in BuzzFeed, evaluating the viral media publisher at $1.7 billion. As part of the deal, NBCU will collaborate on content production and distribution. BuzzFeed will allocate the new funds to develop its data and tech capabilities, flesh out its journalist arsenal, grow its Tasty food network, and create new ad products.

LEGO opens its first Chinese factory in the eastern Zhejiang province, which will supply 80% of the toyco’s products for the Asian market.

Disney is cutting ties with Chinese toy manufacturer Dongguan Qing Xi Juantiway Plastic Factory over issues regarding working conditions.

LVMH is in discussions to acquire Rapha, a high-end London cycling apparel and bike-related accessories brand.

Warner Bros. officially agrees to acquire Machinima at a rumored $100 million price tag.

Ontario-based global office furniture manufacturer LEDA Furniture ceases production after over 40 years in the business.

Sync licensing firm MusicDealers, which closed operations in July, will now have its massive music catalog and brand relationships acquired by BrandSpins. MusicDealers counted $15 million in licensing revenue in 2014 across TV, games, radio, YouTube, and GoPro.

Advantage Media Group and Forbes launch ForbesBooks, the global media company’s first book-publishing imprint.

True Temper Sports, parent of True Hockey and manufacturer of golf and lacrosse products, acquires hockey skate manufacturer VH Footwear Inc.

After closing on its acquisition of Becca Cosmetics ($230 million), Estée Lauder is looking to buy the Too Faced makeup brand for $1.45 billion, the largest purchase in the beauty company’s 70-year history.

VTech completes its acquisition of Snom Technology, a German professional and enterprise VoIP technology solutions company.

British sportswear and fashion retailer JD Sports Fashion purchases Go Outdoors for $140.4 million.


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