You want to know what comes between me and my Calvin's? Nothing." That provocative testament of brand loyalty came from Brooke Shields in the controversial but classic Calvin Kleins Jeans TV commercial, back in 1981. Now more than 30 years later, many consumers remain true to Calvin Klein, Speedo and other brands in the stable of the Warnaco Group Inc. (NYSE: WRC), which PVH Corp. (NYSE: PVH) agreed to acquire for $2.9 billion on Oct. 31. Well-known brands that have weathered the recession and stood the test of time are fueling M&A in the consumer goods and retail category as the sector gears up for the holiday season, Allison Collins reports in our cover story.

October brought us plenty of lessons about withstanding tests and weathering, well, the weather. Hurricane Sandy rendered New York's financial sector inaccessible due to flooding and power outages, including Mergers & Acquisitions' headquarters at the southern tip of the island. While many on staff suffered property damage and power outages, we managed to find places with electricity to work remotely and produce a steady stream of news stories on our website, themiddlemarket.com. Special thanks to Collins, assistant managing editor Anthony Noto, contributing editor Danielle Fugazy, art director Nikhil Mali, production manager Barbara Lau and proofreader Lisa Stone for forging on, despite significant challenges.

One private equity firm whose disaster prevention and recovery strategy - and whose bet on a portfolio company - paid off was the Riverside Co. See Private Equity Perspective, for an interview with Riverside chief operating officer Pam Hendrickson on how the firm's portfolio company Emergency Communications Network helped when the firm's primary data center was flooded.

Next month, we'll launch innovations in the magazine for 2013, including an expanded Watercooler section. Instead of the separate green-bannered ACG pages, we'll be integrating our coverage of ACG events and chapters throughout the magazine, as our succcessful collaboration with the association moves forward and evolves.

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