Big brands love using the holiday season as a time to make major acquisitions. Usually, they wait until a day or two after Christmas, when everyone's still climbing out of that HoneyBaked Ham hole.
However, this year the big guns are coming out long before A Christmas Story will even appear on TNT.
To start the morning off right, VF announced their plans to acquire bankrupt denim label Rock & Republic for $57 million. Few were surprised with this move, as VF was rumored to be looking at the brand, which despite its early success, hasn't been able to pay off debts. R & R fits in well with the VF portfolio--the rock and roll brand will stand alongside labels like John Varvatos and 7 For All Mankind. Our prediction: Expect Rock & Republic stores, as well as expanded offerings, by Fall 2011.
Then, as they often do, French conglomerate LVMH decided to stir the pot of mulling wine, announcing that they now own 20.21% of Hermes, up from the 17.1% they bought in October. Earlier this month, the angry Hermes family announced plans to set up a holding company that will control 50% of the company's stock. But here's the thing: over 73% of Hermes is already owned by the family, which means it will be nearly impossible for LVMH to stage a hostile takeover. We think LVMH is simply agitating the Hermes family until they break down and sell. That may eventually happen, but in our opinion not for a few years.