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Deal Digest: Ganni For Sale and Much, Much More

Mergers and acquisitions seem to be picking up while credit is still relatively cheap.

But credit could soon cost quite a bit more as the Federal Reserve and other Central Banks are rethinking their rates in a bid to tame inflation.

Ganni

Lazard is marketing the contemporary fashion brand Ganni on behalf of private equity owner L Catterton, according to a Reuters report. The Danish brand could be valued at between $500 million to $700 million. Non-binding bids are due by July 25.

The LVMH-backed private equity firm took a majority stake in Ganni in December 2017. At the time,  it described the It-girl label as “one of the fastest growing brands in the global apparel space” with a network of premium retailers in 20 countries. L Catterton, which declined to comment, has used its connections to helped the brand grown its international reach.

Collaborations have been part of Ganni’s recent success. It’s worked with Ahluwalia on upcycled denim, Dr. Scholl’s on wood sandals, New Balance on sneakers, Vegea on an alternative to animal leather, and Levi’s on hemp-infused apparel. The brand is also addressing consumer interest in sustainability by signing up to use Infinna fiber and meeting some of its climate action, circularity and supply chain goals ahead of schedule.

Ganni was founded in 2000 by an art connoisseur and gallery owner who was trying to design the perfect cashmere knit. In 2009, the husband-and-wife team of creative director Ditte Reffstrup and CEO Nicolaj Reffstrup have run and controlled the Copenhagen-based label.

Cath Kidston

Earlier this week, British fashion and homeware brand Cath Kidston was put on the market by private equity owner Baring Private Equity Asia, two years after the brand collapsed into bankruptcy in the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic.

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Hilco Capital quickly scooted in to pick up the the brand for an undisclosed amount. The deal includes the brand’s London flagship in Picadilly, as well as 95 concessions and a wholesale business that operates across 10 countries.

“Brexit, followed by the COVID pandemic, created a number of challenges for the consumer industry,” Marty Wikstrom, non-executive chair at Cath Kidston, said. “Thankfully, we have been able to successfully navigate those challenges and, with the help of BPEA, reposition the company for growth.

She went on to say that the company’s Piccadilly flagship store is “growing rapidly and performing close to pre-pandemic levels,” while the business has seen a 40 percent rise in orders from international and UK franchisees and wholesale partners for the fiscal year through March.

“We expect to invest further in e-commerce, and thanks to Holly Marler, who joined the company in 2021 as [creative director], our new product ranges are perfectly placed to appeal to both existing and new customers,” Wikstrom adding, citing Hilco’s “large and experienced UK team” with “considerable expertise in branded fashion and consumer businesses.”

Sales for the year ended March 2022 are said to total 29 million pounds ($35.3 million), including the digital business.

MySale

Frasers Group PLC is on an acquisition spree.

The company earlier this month acquired bankrupt Missguided for 20 million pounds ($25.2 million), although it is getting some heat from customers and suppliers who are less than thrilled about the fast-fashion e-tailer’s revival. Now Frasers has acquired a 28.7 percent stake in the Australian-based fashion marketplace MySale plc. As a marketplace platform, the company connects global buyers and sellers to Australian and New Zealand e-commerce sites.

“The Group believes this creates an opportunity for a strategic partnership whereby end of line Group products can be cleared via an established clearance channel. This pipeline will be further enhanced by the benefits of counter seasonality between the European and Australian climates,” Frasers said.

Ted Baker and Kohl’s to be determined

Still up in the air are the futures of British high street fashion retailer Ted Baker and American department store chain Kohl’s.

Ted Baker is still weighing options after American brand management firm Authentic Brands Group elected to walk away, and there’s been speculation that it might need to lower its hoped-for price range to attract a new buyer.

Kohl’s could be in a similar position with its prospective buyer, Vitamin Shoppe owner Franchise Group. The two inked a three-week exclusivity period to firm up deal terms, which expired last weekend. Speculation in recent weeks centered on Franchise angling to drop its original $60-a-share offer—a deal valued at $7.74 billion—to closer to $50. Shares of Kohl’s are trading in the $35 to $36 range.

There’s also been criticism over Franchise’s plans to sell off Kohl’s real estate to help finance the deal. That’s because a sale-leaseback of the real estate that houses Kohl’s stores would weigh down its balance sheet in the form higher overhead costs stemming from rent payments. Retailers tend not to like leveraging their real estate because their physical asset can give them more options when an economic downturn strikes

Additional reporting by Jessica Binns.