orchestra
TECHNOLOGY

French children’s clothing brand in U.S. debut

BY Marianne Wilson

Orchestra is entering the United States, both online and off.

The 23-year-old French children’s and maternity fashion brand has launched its first English language website. The retailer will make its U.S. brick-and-mortar debut, opening newborn/children's clothing store at King of Prussia Mall, King of Prussia, Pa.

In late December, Orchestra parent Orchestra-Premaman SA entered into an agreement to acquire Destination Maternity Corp. after a year-long takeover battle.

"We are thrilled to finally introduce our unique and fashionable brand of children's clothes and footwear to U.S. customers," said Agathe Boidin, director and vice chairman, Orchestra, which operates more than 700 stores in over 40 countries. "Orchestra has experienced enormous success around the globe and we are looking forward to launching the brand in the United States."

Boidin, who previously served as CEO of Orchestra, is overseeing the company’s development in North America.

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PetSmart_Exterior_0
ECOMMERCE

PetSmart acquires fast-growing online rival

BY Marianne Wilson

PetSmart is beefing up its digital offerings with the acquisition of the leading online retailer of pet food and products. And the retailer reportedly is paying handsomely for it.

PetSmart has entered into an agreement to acquire Chewy, which offers a wide selection of products and food for pets, ranging from cats and dogs to horses. The price was not disclosed by the two privately-held companies, but Recode put the deal at a whopping $3.35 billion. If Recode is correct in the amount, it would be the biggest e-commerce acquisition to date, slightly exceeding Walmart’s acquisition of jet.com last year.

Founded in 2011, Chewy is based in Dania, Florida. The company had been on a steep upward trajectory. Sales reportedly totaled $900 million in 2016, and the retailer had said it expected to increase revenue to $1.5 billion this year.

The acquisition is expected to close by the end of PetSmart’s second fiscal quarter of 2017.

“We are focused on improving our customers’ experience in-store and online as we continue to execute against our long-term strategic initiatives,” said Michael Massey, president and CEO of PetSmart, which operates some 1,524 stores nationwide. “Chewy’s high-touch customer e-commerce service model and culture centered around a love of pets is the ideal complement to PetSmart’s store footprint and diverse offerings.”

After the deal is closed, Chewy will continue to be led by CEO Ryan Cohen and operate largely as an independent subsidiary of PetSmart, focusing on its current business strategy, while PetSmart will continue to execute its strategic initiatives across the combined company. Both companies will use their shared innovative capabilities and offerings in order to deliver the most value and convenience to customers, PetSmart said.

PetSmart rival Petco is also expanding its online capabilities. On April 4, the company acquired digital pet services company PetCoach, a pet advice website and app that helps pet owners take better care of their pets, connecting them with veterinarians for personalized answers to their questions.

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cabelas
FINANCE

Cabela’s revises deal with Bass Pro

BY Marianne Wilson

Bass Pro Shops has lowered its bid for Cabela’s.

Under the amended merger agreement, Bass Pro will acquire Cabela’s for $61.50 per share in cash for a total deal value of approximately $5.0 bil-lion. On October 3, 2016, Bass Pro has agreed to pay $65.50 per share in cash for Cabela’s in a deal valued at $5.5 billion.

“We’re excited to announce this agreement, which allows us to look ahead with greater certainty toward the completion of our merger with Bass Pro Shops and offers a positive step forward for all parties,” said Tommy Millner, CEO, Cabela’s.

The merger remains subject to approval by Cabela’s shareholders, as well as antitrust clearance and other customary closing conditions

Cabela’s also said in a it has entered into an agreement with Synovus Fi-nancial Corp., Columbus, Georgia, to take over $1.2 billion in assets of its World's Foremost Bank subsidiary. Following completion of the deal, Cabela's will sell its credit card assets to Capital One, which will continue to operate the Cabela's Club credit card program and the card servicing center in Lincoln.

The sale of the bank must be approved by regulators.

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