Tool manufacturers Stanley and Black & Decker have agreed to a merger. The companies have been discussing such a move for decades, and recent economic trends made the deal a reality. Stanley, which manufactures hand tools and construction equipment, is buying Black & Decker, whose focus is on power tools; the merger was friendly and well thought out. Consumers will see little difference in products as the two companies' lines are not directly competitive.
Recently in acquisition Category
General Motors is selling its Hummer brand to Sichuan Tengzhong Heavy Industrial Machinery. Tengzhong plans to invest heavily to create a manufacturing center for Hummer in China, and has extensive plans that may include more entry-level models. GM will contribute to management and manufacturing during a transitional period.
The Hummer deal comes just days after GM's sale of Saturn collapsed, forcing GM to announce the brand's closing. Hummer's sale, while not highly priced, allows the marque to continue operations.
Ritz Camera, which filed for bankruptcy in February, has been purchased by CEO David Ritz. The company put its remaining assets up for auction two weeks ago, and Ritz submitted the highest bid for his firm. The winning bid was confirmed for Timely Demise by representatives within the company.
After the sale, the company will be renamed Ritz Camera & Image, and its core business strategy will stay focused on photographic services. Subbrands like Wolf and Kits will continue to operate. No word is available yet on how many locations will be open after the restructuring is complete.
Bankruptcy court is to review the purchase Friday morning.
Apparel and footwear retailer Finish Line, responding to poor company-wide sales, is selling the Man Alive chain to the owner of Jimmy Jazz. Man Alive is a 75-store street wear retailer, and is a small piece of Finish Line's business, which has 685 Finish Line stores alone. Jimmy Jazz has roughly 65 outlets and the Man Alive acquisition will "accelerate growth initiatives in the urban market sector faster than we could attain through organic growth alone," stated owner Jimmy Khezrie in a statement.
General Motors agreed today to sell its Saab brand to Swedish sports car maker Koenigsegg. The move divests yet another brand from once-mighty GM, which sold Saturn to Penske and Hummer to China's Sichuan Tengzhong Heavy Industrial Machinery Company in recent weeks. In addition to GM's dealer closings and plans to shutter the Pontiac brand, the revamped General Motors will be a vastly different firm when it emerges from bankruptcy.
Equally notable, though, is how the divested car lines might fare. Three significant car companies are now held by smaller firms with niche ambitions. This inadvertently trends the auto industry toward pre-1980s merger days, when more small firms had ambitions and opportunities to grow in a splintered market. Volvo, Jaguar, Land Rover, AMC/Jeep, Mazda, Nissan, Saab--all were once independent companies with unique identities. While Chrysler may turn into Fiat USA, many other car lines have a chance to creat unique, compelling products. Expect a more competitive and innovative car market over the next decade as these companies start to differentiate themselves.
Apparel retailer Talbots is selling the J. Jill line to a capital investment firm. Seventy-five of J. Jill's 279 stores will close as a result of the sale. Talbots is positioning the move as a brand focus maneuver for the parent company, but the brand was sold at a "huge loss," according to the Wall Street Journal, and does not help Talbots' difficult financial situation.
The Filene's Basement discount chain has been purchased by Men's Wearhouse, the men's clothier. Men's Wearhouse outbid two other companies, including fellow discount retailer Syms. The buyer is expected to retain roughly 20 of Filene's Basement's 25 existing stores, shutting a few suburban locations.
Discount retailer Filene's Basement filed for bankruptcy and agreed to sell 17 of its 25 remaining stores as part of its reorganization. The filing is expected to allow the stores to continue operating while the new owner takes over the chain.
Struggling discount retailer Filene's Basement has been sold to a liquidation and turnaround specialist. Officials noted "uncertainty" for its 25 doors but no announcement of store closings or liquidation has been made.
Filene's Basement has had difficulty all year; in January it closed 11 stores in a restructuring move.
For what it's worth, Timely Demise is a fan of Filene's Basement (so say many of the clothes in the TD closet) and is rooting for a turnaround and not a liquidation.
Women's Wear Daily is reporting (subscription required) that Stila Cosmetics, which has been struggling in recent weeks, has been acquired by a private equity concern. Stila, which was owned by Estee Lauder until 2006, temporarily closed its website (and perhaps the entire company) in late March. The sale of Stila would presumably allow the brand to continue operations and pursue new initiatives.
The Greenbrier Resort in West Virginia, host to every U.S. President since Eisenhower, has endured speculation about a purchaser for some time, as it lost $35 million last year alone. The enormous facility—720 rooms! A 40,000-square-foot spa!—filed for bankruptcy last week and, pending approval, will be "bought" by Marriott, and by "bought" they mean that the current owner, railway giant CSX, will pay Marriott $50 million to operate it in exchange for not much more money than that. Unless that deal goes south. (Get it? South?)
Dial-A-Mattress, the well-known mattress retailer who owns 1-800-MATTRESS and 1800mattress.com, has had an involuntary Chapter 7 bankruptcy motion filed against it by three of its creditors. The trio are reportedly angry that 1800mattress.com is not paying its bills. Just last week Dial-A-Mattress announced a plan to be sold to a business entity called Dial Mattress Acquisition LLC, which promised a "swift" injection of cash to keep the company running.
The bankruptcy filing does not affect 1800mattress.com franchisees throughout New England, who noted business continues as usual at their stores.
In New Jersey, pharmacy chain Drug Fair has closed six of 40 locations and reports suggest it is considering a bankruptcy filing. The chain is also selling numerous stores to Walgreen. The store closings began unexpectedly last weekend and continued with in-store announcements today.
Drug Fair, which has a private-equity owner, also operates a dozen Cost Cutter discount stores across the state. Drug Fairs have been open since the 1950s.
Update, March 18: Walgreen is now buying all of Drug Fair and closing 11 locations in total. The rest of the stores will be converted to the Walgreen's name.
Apparel manufacturer VF Corp. has completed the purchase of Mo Industries, the maker of the Splendid and Ella Moss clothing lines. VF already owns a wide variety of clothing lines, from John Varvatos to Wrangler. The former Mo Industries lines are expected to do $70 million in sales this year--after a $95 million 2008 performance.
The credit crisis has impaired Sportsman's Warehouse, a regional outdoor-products retailer in the west. The company is selling 15 of its 67 stores to UFA of Canada, but UFA has not closed the sale. As a result, Sportsman's Warehouse is experiencing a liquidity crisis, and must close 23 of its remaining stores. "We are now a 29-store chain," says CEO Stu Upgaard. The store closings affect a wide swath of states from Idaho to Mississippi.