G-III Apparel Looks to Broaden M&A Collection

NEW YORK (The Deal) -- G-III Apparel 

Executives at G-III Apparel Group (GIII), which markets apparel brands such as Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger and Ivanka Trump, are actively hunting for acquisitions. At a recent conference in New York, COO Wayne Millerand CFO Neal Nackman said the company is focusing on women's wear businesses with sales between $100 million to $1 billion. The "sweet spot" for G-III would be sales of around $500 million, and while women's apparel would be the most attractive the company could consider other categories, Miller and Nackman said.

And G-III has the balance sheet to make deals. With about $200 million in annual Ebitda, the company could borrow up to four times that amount, or about $800 million, and still remain investment grade, according to an industry source. G-III listed no debt and nearly $86 million in cash in a 10-Q filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on June 5.

While G-III declined to comment on specific targets, the industry source said the potential acquirer was more likely to target wholesale brands that would fit well with the company's other businesses. The company has a history of adding brands, more recently French swimwear labelVilebrequinin a 2012 deal worth more than $100 million. The company then bought men's apparel and footwear brand G.H. Bass & Co. from PVH Corp.  (PVH) for $50 million in 2013. -Richard Collings


RPC Group 

U.K.-based plastic packaging design company RPC Group may continue to be an active buyer. The company will likely look outside of Europe at other regions including in North America in the second half of this year, said Kevin Fogarty, institutional research director at UK investment bank Panmure Gordon & Co. RPC owns subsidiaries in 14 countries across the globe, including in the U.S., China, Belgium, France and Germany.

The company's acquisitions this year so far include Norway-based Promens Group, Netherlands-based PET Power B.V. and Belgium's Innocan B.V. For its fiscal 2015 year ended March 31, the company grew sales by 17% to about £1.2 billion ($1.9 billion) and adjusted Ebitda by 28% to £187.6 million year over year, largely a result of a widened customer base brought by overseas acquisitions.

"The integration of Promens is progressing well and the Group continues to explore further opportunities for growth," said Pim Vervaat, RPC's chief executive, in a statement. The company's so-called Vision 2020 plan encompasses both continued organic growth and expansion of its market position through acquisitions. RPC would be interested in rigid plastics packaging businesses that would increase its global market share, particularly in the healthcare or food packaging industries, according to Fogarty. The company's market capitalization is about £1.62 billion.-Dian Zhang


Multimedia Platforms 

Venture capital-backed Multimedia Platforms is continuing its search for LGBT-targeted media companies. The Florida-based company, which has been backed by TBG Holdings since 2014, specializes in creating "coherent and professional media voice in the emerging LGBT community and marketplace," which TBG asserts is an $850 billion industry.

Last week, Multimedia Platforms purchased Next Magazine, a magazine that describes itself as "New York's Gay Guide." The terms of the deal were not disclosed, but 80% of the value was paid in Multimedia Platforms equity. Multimedia Platforms' growth strategy explicitly relies on the acquisition of additional LGBT publications. Its oldest such holdings are Guy Magazine, a South Florida men's lifestyle magazine, and Agenda Florida, a news- and -business focused magazine.

In March 2015, Multimedia Platforms purchased Columbia Fun Map, which distributes local and regional maps and city guides and also owns Gayosphere.com, an online travel and hospitality guide aimed at the LGBT community. The company is also in the process of unveiling its Global Agenda Network, a "revolutionary social media platform," the details of which haven't been released but which will incorporate the acquisitions. - LauraBerman


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Medical supply company Hill-Rom Holdings (HRC), which The Deal identified in June 2014 as a likely consolidator of the medical supply space, has inked its next deal. The Chicago company announced June 17 that it would acquire diagnostics technology company Welch-Allyn in a $2.05 billion transaction.

Welch Allyn was founded in 1915 by Dr. Francis Welch and William Noah Allyn, who invented the ophthalmoscopes that are still used today by physicians to inspect areas of the body such as the nose and ears. Hill-Rom is funding the deal with a financing package obtained from Goldman Sachs Bank USA as well as with newly-issued stock and secured and senior unsecured debt.

In a statement announcing the deal, Hill-Rom said it would realize about $40 million in cost savings post deal. It said its "significantly enhanced financial position and breadth of resources" would enable it to invest in its research and development programs and pursue additional M&A opportunities. The deal, which will create a company with about $2.6 billion in revenues and more than $500 million in Ebitda, will also produce one whose portfolio will now include diagnostics and patient monitoring technologies, as well as wound care, surgical products and workflow technology. -Michael D. Brown

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