Deal Watch: lucy activewear sells

Deal Watch: lucy activewear sells


Competition is stiff in the apparel business and longtime players are rethinking their product lines. Which is why VF of Greensboro, N.C., paid $110 million to acquire Portland-based women’s activewear brand lucy. 

After fighting its way back from its own dot-com bust, lucy built a street-side business featuring its line of figure-flattering activewear worth $57 million in sales last year.

Lucy joins hipster jeans-maker Seven for All Mankind, which VF arranged to pick up at the same time for $775 million, in a new VF “coalition” (apparently the term “division” is passé) of contemporary brands. VF’s other coaltions include outdoor (including brands such as Northface and Eastpak), sportswear (Nautilus) and jeanswear (Lee and Wrangler). VF’s acquisitions allow it to go after a higher-end consumer; contemporary is another word for someone willing to drop $200 on a pair of jeans and $150 on the perfect yoga outfit.

The lucy deal comes on the heels of the $175 million acquisition of Portland’s chi-chi kidswear brand Hanna Andersson by St. Louis-based Kellwood Company, announced in June. In both cases, the new owners are expected to keep their mitts off day-to-day operations (at least for now) and let the brands continue their expansions. Lucy has 50 retail stores and counting and Hanna has 18 with more on the drawing board. 

Retail analyst Jennifer Black of Jennifer Black and Associates in Lake Oswego says competition has squeezed vendors such as Kellwood, which used to specialize in the in-store private label lines that have fallen out of favor. Both Hanna and lucy, with their upscale devotees, growing number of stores and sizable revenue, made juicy acquisition targets.

If girl-name apparel acquisitions, like celebrity deaths, happen in threes, we’ve got one more to go.                   


26-Jun Westport Capital Partners LLC (CT) The Harrison – Condo Conversion Mezzanine Loan (Portland) ND

27-Jun Bill Carpenter and Charles Howard office bldg. (Sandy) / Noble Dev. Company IV; Herbert D. McKillop $7.7m

27-Jun HAG Holdings; EZS; Morrison St. Prtn. Irwin Paul Building (Portland) / Irwin Leitgeb $2.1m

29-Jun Equastone (CA) AmberGlen Business Park (Hillsboro) / The Praedium Group (NY) $67.92m

2-Jul ScanlanKemperBard (Portland) 2 retail properties (CA) / Pacific Union Development $94.75m

3-Jul Phillips Edison & Co. (MD) Powell Villa (Portland) ND

6-Jul CalPERS (CA) KOIN Center (Portland) $108m

9-Jul ATC Partners LLC (CA) Paulson Building (Portland) / Runhill Investment Co. $9.2m

9-Jul Charles Padot Canyon Ridge apartment complex (Newberg) / Viking Properties $4m

9-Jul D&S McIntyre Living Trust (CA) Oak Leaf Manor (Portland) / Linda D. Frye Revocable Living Trust & Barry Stuffs (CA) $2.85m

11-Jul DLJ Real Estate Capital Partners/ Credit Suisse Hilton Garden Inn (Lake Oswego) / Sunstone Hotel Investors $150.5m

11-Jul David McIntyre and Sally McIntyre Oak Leaf Manor Apartments (Portland) / Linda Frye, Barry Stubbs $2.85m

12-Jul DP Partners (NV) 13.5 acres (Portland)/ Portland Development Commission ND

17-Jul Guardian Management LLC (Portland) 2 apartment bldgs. (AZ) ND

18-Jul Gresham Funeral Chapel (Gresham) office bldg. (Gresham)/ Parkside Chapel $1.34m

23-Jul SHLP Block 46 LLC (Denver)/ Simpson Housing LLP Block 46 (Portland)/ Williams and Dame Development ND

25-Jul The Bennett Family Trust (Bend) industrial bldg. (Portland)/ Weston William McGaa Irr. Trust $2m

25-Jul The Salvation Army (Portland) Monterey Plaza office bldg. (Portland) $7.4m

26-Jul JPMorgan Asset Management Brewery Blocks (Portland)/ Gerding Edlen Development $292m

29-Jun Q1 '08 Nautilus (Vancouver, WA) Land America Health and Fitness (China) $72m

2-Jul ND Standard Retirement Services (Portland)/ StanCorp Financial Group Inc. MasterPlan Advisors (Portland)/ DPA ND

2-Jul Q3 '07 The Papé Group (Eugene) Central California Kenworth (CA) ND

3-Jul Q3 '07 Northwest Pipe Company (Portland) Continental Pipe Manufacturing Co. (UT) ND (cash)

3-Jul Q3 '07 Domestica LLC (Portland) Sister Suds Cleaning Co. (Portland) ND

5-Jul Q3 '07 Electro Scientific Industries (Portland) New Wave Research (CA) $36m

9-Jul Q3 '07 Redwood Empire division (CA)/ Pacific States Industries, Inc. plywood mill (Springfield)/ Weyerhaeuser Co. ND

12-Jul Q3 '07 Trelleborg Sealing Solutions (Sweden)/ Trelleborg AFM (Portland) ND

13-Jul Q3 '07 Market Strategies (MI) Doxus (Portland) ND

20-Jul Q3 '07 Basic American Foods (CA) Harry's Fresh Foods (Portland) ND

24-Jul Q4 '07 New Vision Television (CA) KOIN6 (Portland)/ Montecito Broadcast Grp. ND

26-Jul Q3 '07 VF Corp. (NC) Lucy Activewear (Portland) $110m

10-Jul Oregon Health & Science University (Portland) Harold & Arlene Schnitzer Care Foundation $5.5m (donation)

17-Jul Pacific Star Comm. (Portland)/ Robert Frisbee, CEO Chart Venture Partners; Steelpoint Capital Prt. $12.3m (series D)

23-Jul Teseda Corporation (Portland)/ Armagan Akar, CEO INTER ACTION $1.2m

List researched by Mark Druskoff                   ND=Not disclosed

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