Mergers & Acquisitions
Neiman Marcus may be known as a place for Texas-size yearnings and price tags, but in a sign of the economic times for luxury retailers, the company is being drawn to a less haughty shopper.
It's been an eventful couple of years for cross-channel specialty coffee retailer Green Mountain Coffee Roasters (GMCR). From acquisitions (three in the last 18 months) to the launch of a B-to-B wholesale website, GMCR has been busy growing its 29-year-old brand.
Launched on June 23, 2009, as an online marketplace not unlike eBay, Alice.com enables CPG manufacturers to sell their household essentials — think toothpaste, laundry detergent, trash bags, toilet paper, etc. — direct to consumers. By making thousands of products typically not found online available for purchase, Alice.com has tapped into an underserved market, albeit surprisingly so to the company's founders.
Retail sales may have recovered nicely in the past year, but a resurgence in acquisitions and IPO activity may have to wait until next year due to tougher financing and market volatility. The number of U.S. retail deals has totaled 113 so far this year, down slightly from 120 deals in the same period a year ago, according to data from Thomson Reuters. "There's very little M&A activity. There's very little bankruptcy activity. There's very little retail closure activity, and there's very little retail expansion activity," said Hilco Real Estate Executive Vice President Nina Kampler.
PC Mall announced today that Sarcom, one of its wholly-owned subsidiaries, has acquired substantially all of the assets of Network Services Plus as of June 8, 2010. The terms of the transaction include an initial purchase price of $7.8 million, less a customary hold-back to settle indemnity claims. PC Mall is also extinguishing substantially all of NSPI’s indebtedness, which net of acquired working capital is approximately $1.3 million. Pursuant to the terms of the asset purchase agreement, NSPI’s shareholders can earn additional consideration based on the performance of the NSPI business over the next two years.
It must be a sign of the times when even a profitable catalog business can’t sell. That was Sportif USA CEO John Kirsch’s position when I caught up with him just before Thanksgiving. He’d just put the Waterfronts Nautical catalog on the selling block. And as he aimed to sell the 21-year-old nautical-themed apparel catalog started by his father, Kirsch reflected on some hard lessons.
Fresh off the sale of their last turnaround project — the reinvigorated J&L Industrial Supply to MSC Industrial Direct in June 2006 — Chuck Moyer and Mike Wessner set their sights on a new opportunity. After an exhaustive search process, these two B-to-B cataloging lifers targeted 63-year-old Conney Safety Products. In a deal financed by the private equity firm CI Capital, Moyer and Wessner acquired the company from its parent firm, K+K America, in October 2007.