The 7 Biggest Fashion Company Mergers Of 2015

As in years past, the mergers-and-acquisitions market continued its hot-and-cold pattern through 2015.

The year got off to a robust start with a number of high-profile deals, including Coach’s $574 million Stuart Weitzman buy, New Balance and Berkshire Partners’ $280 million acquisition of Rockport and Iconix Brand Group’s $37 million investment in Pony.

Then the frenetic pace slowed a bit, but over the past few months, dealmaking accelerated, including Kurt Geiger’s sale to Cinven and Tod’s SpA’s purchase of Roger Vivier.

Read on for seven deals that defined fashion-biz M&A in 2015.

Coach Buys Stuart Weitzman
Coach Inc. set the pace for what would be a red-hot year for footwear M&A, snapping up Stuart Weitzman from Sycamore Partners for $574 million in January. The deal was Coach’s first acquisition.

Stuart Weitzman Pavé Nudist Sandals
Stuart Weitzman pavé Nudist sandals.
CREDIT: Courtesy of brand.

Net-a-Porter & Yoox Create Online Luxury Powerhouse
Market watchers gave a thumbs-up to the merger of luxury e-tailers Yoox SpA and Net-a-Porter, now Yoox Net-a-Porter Group, announced in March. While the online luxury giant, with combined estimated yearly revenues of $1.4 billion, received industrywide approval, Net-a-Porter founder Natalie Massenet resigned in September.

Sequential Acquires Jessica Simpson Label
Brand-management firm Sequential Brands Group Inc. made the first of a string of power moves in 2015 when it nabbed the billion-dollar Jessica Simpson label. In late March, insiders broke the news that Sequential would acquire a majority interest, including the Jessica Simpson Collection master license and other rights.

Kering Sells Sergio Rossi
Kering shed Italian luxury-footwear brand Sergio Rossi in December, selling 100 percent of the business to European investment house Investindustrial. Sources estimated the selling price at 40 million to 50 million euros, or $43.4 million to $54.3 million.

Adidas Sells Rockport
Adidas Group tightened its portfolio in 2015, selling off comfort-footwear label Rockport to investment firm Berkshire Partners LLC and New Balance Holding Inc. The $280 million sale, announced in January, closed on July 31. New Balance Holdings affiliate Drydock Footwear Group absorbed the Rockport label, forming the Rockport Group.

Tod’s Snaps Up Roger Vivier Trademark
In late November, Italian luxury-goods maker Tod’s SpA announced its intention to purchase the Roger Vivier trademark for 415 million euros, or $441.7 million.

Roger Vivier spring 2016 shoes
Roger Vivier spring ’16 collection.
CREDIT: Dominique Maitre.

Kurt Geiger Acquired By Cinven
Sycamore Partners sold the British footwear giant, helmed by Neil Clifford, to European private equity firm Cinven in December. The transaction was reportedly valued at $372 million. While the deal is Cinven’s first accessories buy, Kurt Geiger is getting its third owner in four years.

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