A Running Timeline of Fashion, Luxury Funding and M&A

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A Running Timeline of Fashion, Luxury Funding and M&A

A growing number of M&A deals and funding rounds are bringing together some of the biggest names in the fashion and luxury space. In November, a $1.15 billion deal came to light, bringing together Cartier’s parent company Richemont, Chinese e-commerce titan Alibaba, ...

July 4, 2024 - By TFL

A Running Timeline of Fashion, Luxury Funding and M&A

Image : The Yes

Case Documentation

A Running Timeline of Fashion, Luxury Funding and M&A

A growing number of M&A deals and funding rounds are bringing together some of the biggest names in the fashion and luxury space. In November, a $1.15 billion deal came to light, bringing together Cartier’s parent company Richemont, Chinese e-commerce titan Alibaba, and fashion retail platform Farfetch. The headline-making transaction followed from reports that a “mega deal” was in the making. In addition to proving noteworthy because it brought together three very big names in the fashion sphere in furtherance of an effort that largely focuses on “providing luxury brands with enhanced access to the China market,” the alliance is striking, as it has given rise to speculation about a potential consolidation, with at least some analysts wondering aloud whether the $1.15 billion tie-up could be “a preamble” a larger M&A effort, namely, Richemont merging Yoox Net-a-Porter with Farfetch or the Swiss conglomerate selling the fashion e-commerce pioneer to Alibaba. 

Around the same time, LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton decided to make good on an acquisition effort of its own, the one it had also been quietly (and then not so quietly) working towards: Tiffany & Co. Just a matter of days before the Farfetch-Alibaba-YNAP deal was confirmed, LVMH and Tiffany revealed that they had managed to put their rival lawsuits to bed and come to agreeable terms under which the famed New York-based jewelry stalwart could be brought under the ownership umbrella of the Paris-based luxury goods titan. In exchange for $15.8 billion, LVMH would acquire all shares in the formerly publicly-traded Tiffany & Co.

Both instances come as consolidation has been top of mind in the luxury space, where the biggest groups, such as Louis Vuitton-owner LVMH and Gucci’s parent company Kering, have amassed sizable rosters of brands over the past several decades by way of various fashion and luxury-centric M&A transactions, thereby, enabling them to benefit from sheer size and scale, while making it more difficult for independently-owned brands to compete. The havoc wreaked on brands’ balance sheets by the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting shift online (and the expenses that come with doing that and doing it well) is expected to accelerate that existing fashion industry M&A activity even further. 

“With the financial difficulties [brought about by COVID] in mind, many players, and in particular the smallest, will become more-affordable M&A targets,” according to Isabelle Chaboud, an Associate Professor in the Finance, Accounting and Law Department of Grenoble Ecole de Management. “The most financially solid players – such as LVMH, Kering or Chanel – will no doubt have the option of buying out competitors, subcontractors and even suppliers.” (For a timeline of supplier-specific M&A, you can find that here.)

A Timeline of Transactions

With the foregoing in mind, here is a running timeline of the most recent fashion and luxury-focused M&A and investments dating back to LVMH’s headline-making deal with Tiffany & Co. … 

Jul. 4, 2024 – Hudson’s Bay Co. to Acquire Neiman Marcus Group

Hudson’s Bay Co. will acquire Neiman Marcus and Bergdorf Goodman owner Neiman Marcus Group in a $2.65 billion deal. The deal will result in the creation of a new entity, Saks Global, that combines the Saks Fifth Avenue and Saks OFF 5TH brands, Neiman Marcus and Bergdorf Goodman, and the real estate assets of Neiman Marcus Group and HBC. Amazon – which will work with Saks Global “to offer its expertise in logistics and personalization technology” – will hold a minority stake in the new entity, as will cloud-based software company, Salesforce.

“For years, many in the industry have anticipated this transaction and the benefits it would drive for customers, partners and employees,” Richard Baker, HBC executive chairman and CEO, said in a statement. “This is an exciting time in luxury retail, with technological advancements creating new opportunities to redefine the customer experience, and we look forward to unlocking significant value for our customers, brand partners and employees.”

Jun. 26, 2024 – LVMH Acquires Swiss clock maker L’Epee 1839

LVMH has acquired Switzerland-based speciality clock maker L’Epee 1839 and its owner Swiza. The terms of the deal have not been disclosed. L’Epee will be housed within LVMH’s growing Watches division, which is led by Frédéric Arnault. “L’Épée 1839 is at once a beautiful brand with a history that dates back to 1839, internationally recognized and by an audience of watchmaking enthusiasts, but most of all, it has a unique know-how,” Arnault said in a statement. “It is the only one to do what its teams do in the industry and has regrouped under one roof an impressive diversity of crafts.”

Jun. 25, 2024 – Revolve Takes Majority Stake in Alexandre Vauthier

Revolve Group, Inc. has acquired a majority stake in Alexandre Vauthier, confirming that it will invest six million euros ($9.67 million) over the next three years in the ailing French fashion brand, which was placed in administration last year and has been actively seeking a buyer. The deal, the terms of which have not been disclosed, will see “the integration of Revolve’s marketing strategies, data-driven merchandising techniques, and operational infrastructure with Alexandre Vauthier’s iconic brand identity and craftsmanship,” according to a release from the parties. Revolve co-CEO Michael Mente said in a statement, “By integrating our impactful brand marketing strategies and operational excellence with Vauthier’s visionary designs, we are set to ignite a new era of fashion influence in luxury to build an iconic French maison.”

Jun. 25, 2024 – Bernard Arnault Takes Stake in Rival Richemont

Bernard Arnault has taken a stake in Richemont, according to industry reports. Details regarding the LVMH chairman and CEO’s position, which he has taken on in a personal capacity, are sparse, with Bloomberg reporting that the size of the holding is “small” and part of a broader Arnault family-owned portfolio of investments in publicly listed companies.

Jun. 20, 2024 – Daydream Raises $50M in Seed Round

Daydream has raised a $50 million in a Seed round co-led by Forerunner Ventures and Index Ventures with participation from GV (Google Ventures) and True Ventures. Founded by Julie Bornstein, Matt Fisher, Dan Cary, Lisa Green and Richard Kim, Daydream is “a powerful new, AI-powered platform that will change the way people shop online.” The New York-based company said in a statement that Daydream is building “an entirely new platform from the ground up, leveraging the latest developments in generative AI, machine learning, and computer vision to change the end-to-end shopping journey and experience starting from search and discovery.”

Jun. 5, 2024 – HanesBrands to Sell Champion to Authentic Brands

HanesBrands has entered into a definitive agreement to sell the intellectual property and “certain operating assets of the company’s global Champion business” to Authentic Brands Group for a transaction value of $1.2 billion, with the potential to reach up to $1.5 billion through an additional contingent cash consideration of up to $300 million based on achievement of performance thresholds. “This agreement, which has been unanimously approved by the HanesBrands Board of Directors, is the successful conclusion of [HanesBrands’] previously announced evaluation of a range of strategic options for the global Champion business,” HanesBrands said in a statement.

Jun. 3, 2024 – Consortium Brand Partners to Acquire Outdoor Voices

Consortium Brand Partners will acquire Outdoor Voices, the companies have revealed. The terms of the transaction have not been disclosed. The Tyler Haney-founded athleisure brand was valued at $110 million in 2018, but the most recent valuation in 2020 had the direct-to-consumer company’s worth dropping to $40 million. Since then, the company closed all its brick-and-mortar stores, laid off the majority of its employees, and was plagued by reports of a bankruptcy filing, which never came to fruition.

“We feel incredibly fortunate to become the next stewards of this very special brand,” Cory Baker, founder and managing partner of Consortium Brand Partners, said in a statement. “Tyler’s vision to build Outdoor Voices on a foundation of deep human connection and a genuine love for movement created something truly beautiful and unique in Outdoor Voices. We are committed to engaging the brand’s loyal community to ensure they can continue to enjoy products and experiences that celebrate the recreationalist and outdoor enthusiast.” The acquisition comes as Baker, Michael DeVirgilio and Jonathan Greller-led Consortium Brand Partners appears to be increasing its stake in the apparel/fashion industry after acquiring 70 percent stake in actress Reese Witherspoon’s fashion brand Draper James in September 2023.

May 23, 2024 – Couper Acquires Sovereign Collective

Couper, a luxury fashion retailer that features “thoughtfully designed exclusive collaborations from emerging global designers,” has acquired Sovereign Collective, a luxury e-commerce platform that provides “unparalleled curation of the best styles and trends from global designers.” The terms of the deal have not been disclosed. Agee Leinberry-founded Couper said in a statement, “We are thrilled to announce that Couper has officially acquired Sovereign Collective, a like-minded, multi-brand platform featuring emerging contemporary designers from around the world. With a strong commitment to bringing new, international brands to the U.S. market, Sovereign Collective aligns perfectly with Couper’s mission to create a diverse platform of emerging designers and wearable art.”

May 22, 2024 – Max Retail Raises $15M in Series A

Max Retail has raised $15 million Series A round led by Nosara Capital with participation from Rethink Impact, VC M13, The Artemis Fund, and StandUp Ventures. The West Palm Beach, Florida-based marketplace, which “makes it easy for independent retailers and brands to sell excess inventory,” says that the new funds will enable it to “more than double its sellers, focusing on serving specialty retailers and brands that add vibrance to flourishing communities.” 

“Independent retail shops are core pillars of their communities but face limited options for their excess inventory other than discounting far below cost, sending to consignment, or donating for a tax write-off,” said Melodie van der Baan, Max Retail CEO & co-founder. “With this investment, we will continue to grow our sales channel network and expand this excess inventory solution to support the full product lifecycle, giving independent retailers and brands the tools they need to increase their inventory turns and maximize cash recuperation on unsold goods.”

May 9, 2024 – Watches of Switzerland Group to Acquire Roberto Coin

Watches of Switzerland Group will acquire Italian jewelry brand Roberto Coin for $130 million in furtherance of an effort to expand its offering on line with “the global luxury jewelry market [trend] towards branded jewelry.” The luxury watch and jewelry retailer says that it will finance the deal with “a new $115 million loan, increasing the group’s leverage to 0.8x net debt, which will leave the firm at the mid-point of its full year leverage guidance.” Brian Duffy, CEO of Watches of Switzerland Group, said: “We have partnered with Roberto Coin for over a decade in the U.S., retailing its elegant jewelry in a number of our mayors’ showrooms. It is a hugely popular, growing brand, occupying a strong position in the market, underpinned by product quality, design creativity and imagination.”

May 7, 2024 – Richemont to Acquire Vhernier S.p.A. 

Richemont has reached an agreement to acquire 100 percent of Italian jewellery maker Vhernier S.p.A. in a private transaction. Johann Rupert, chairman of Richemont, said of the deal, “Maison Vhernier brings a distinguished and distinctive design that beautifully blends modern, sleek and elegant shapes with unconventional materials, magnified by exceptional craftsmanship. This unique aesthetic perfectly complements our existing collection of renowned jewelry Maisons. We are delighted to welcome Vhernier’s talented team into the Richemont family. We very much look forward to working together to realise the full potential of this exceptional Maison within the thriving branded jewellery market.”

May 7, 2024 – Simon Property Group Sells Authentic Brands Stake

Simon Property Group has sold off its remaining 10 percent stake in Authentic Brands Group for almost $1.2 billion. (The sale comes on the heels of Simon Property Group previously shedding 2 percent of its stake in the New York-headquartered brand management company whose 50-plus brands include Aeropostale, Barneys New York, Forever 21, Juicy Couture, and Reebok, among others, during Q4 of 2023.) “We generated substantial value from the ABG investment and a 7-times multiple on our net invested capital during our short ownership period,” Simon Property Group chairman David Simon said of the sell-off.

Apr. 29, 2024 –  Frasers Group to Buy Back “Certain” MATCHES IP

Frasers Group confirmed that it has reached a deal with the administrators of MATCHES to buy back “certain intellectual property assets” from the bankrupt online fashion platform, which it acquired (as a whole) from Apax Partners in December 2023 and put into administration in the United Kingdom in March 2024. The British retail group did not specify which MATCHES assets it will snap up or the terms of the transaction, although, WWD reports that the assets are likely MATCHES “trademark[s], domain names and data bases” of information (presumably, product and consumer-related information) accumulated by the London-based online retailer.

In a stock exchange notification on April 29, Frasers did state that the asset “transaction was completed following an extensive marketing process by the Joint Administrators and under the terms of this transaction, [Frasers] has granted a license that allows the Joint Administrators to sell the stock MATCHES holds through a period of continued trading for the benefit of the Administration.” It further noted that “brands and suppliers should be aware that all stock held by MATCHES does not form part of the transaction and the Joint Administrators continue to manage all operations of the business for the benefit of the Administration.”

Apr. 4, 2024 –  Marco Bizzarri Takes Stake in Elisabetta Franchi

Marco Bizzarri is taking a minority stake of up to 23 percent in Italian fashion brand Elisabetta Franchi through his newly-launched personal investment company, Nessifashion. Speaking of his new investment venture, the former Gucci CEO, who will be appointed chairman of Bologna, Italy-based Elisabetta Franchi, said in a statement that “this new chapter of my professional life will focus on investments in valuable companies and human resources.” His investments will focus on companies in the fashion and luxury sector in Italy and abroad.

Mar. 19, 2024 – Rivetti Family Sells Off Stake in Moncler

Italy’s Rivetti family confirmed that it has sold off a 1.18 percent stake in Moncler through an accelerated book-building to institutional investors at 67 euros per share. The news “comes less than a month after the announcement that the Rivetti family” – the former owner of Stone Island, the Italian luxury men’s fashion and outerwear brand acquired by Moncler in December 2020 in a $1.4 billion deal – “would become a direct shareholder in the luxury group after ending an investment agreement with [Moncler] CEO Remo Ruffini’s holding company Double R,” per Reuters. The Rivettis still hold 0.5 percent of Moncler share capital.

Mar. 12, 2024 – Miroglio Completes Trussardi Acquisition

Miroglio finalized its acquisition of Trussardi in a deal that saw it paid 35 million euros ($38.28 million) for the assets of the more than 100-year-old Italian luxury brand, per Reuters. The deal comes almost exactly a year after Milan-based Trussardi sought protection from a Milan court to shield it from creditors while it worked with Italian advisory firm 3X Capital to restructure and cut costs. Miroglio, an Italian firm specializing in the manufacture and distribution of apparel, said the deal will enable Trussardi to remain an independent brand and enable Miroglio to expand into menswear and leather goods. Miroglio CEO Alberto Racca said in a statement that the deal is “a key step in our strategy of growth and portfolio diversification.”

Mar. 11, 2024 – Style Capital to Acquire Sneaker-Maker Autry

Milan-based private equity investor Style Capital will acquire a 50.2 percent stake in Italian sneaker brand Autry from fellow Italian private equity firm Made in Italy Fund for an undisclosed sum. The Door family, which is the founding shareholder in Autry, will retain a “significant” holding in the company. Meanwhile, Reuters reports that Quadrivio & Pambianco, which owns the Made in Italy Fund, will reinvest in Autry via another, as-of-now unnamed fund. Under Style Capital’s ownership, Autry plans to increase its expansion in Italy and abroad, including by opening more than 20 mono-brand stores.

Feb. 28, 2024 – The Very Group Raises £125M in New Round

The Very Group has raised a £125 million in a new round, with Carlyle putting in £85 million of the funds and IMI investing the remaining £40 million. The Barclay family-owned retail group, which owns/operates Littlewoods.com and Very.co.uk, as well as Very Financial Services, will use the new funds to “support its growth strategy.” Acting non-executive chair Aidan Barclay said that with the new funds from Carlyle and IMI, the group has “the support of two long-term, experienced institutional sponsors that understand our business extremely well. Their commitment underlines the confidence they have in the group, and their contribution to the board will be invaluable as we look to the future.”

Feb. 27, 2024 – Burch Creative Capital to Acquire Rowing Blazers

Burch Creative Capital has acquired a majority stake in Rowing Blazers, the cult menswear brand founded in 2017 by Jack Carlson. Rowing Blazers will join Burch Creative Capital’s growing roster of brands, including Staud, Solid & Striped, Danielle Guizio, BaubleBar, and Tory Burch. The companies said in a statement that the move “will allow Rowing Blazers to hire in key positions, develop its women’s line, expand distribution, and grow its retail footprint, starting with a new flagship Manhattan store as early as Fall 2024.” Carlson said, “I am very excited to be partnering with Burch Creative Capital, and excited for a new chapter in the Rowing Blazers story. This partnership will allow us to do things we couldn’t do previously; it will also allow us to reach new people, and to provide better service and even better products to our existing community. I’m especially excited about developing women’s.”

Feb. 21, 2024 – Shopping platform NTWRK Acquires Complex

NTWRK has acquired Complex from BuzzFeed for $108 million. The Los Angeles-based live-stream shopping platform says the deal to snap-up Complex, a music, culture, and streetwear digital media site, will support its e-commerce business and “create a new destination for ‘superfan’ culture that will define the future of commerce, digital media, and music.” Aaron Levant, the new CEO of Complex, said in a statement, “Complex has been a beacon of culture and innovation for over two decades. My journey with Complex began as an admirer of their original magazine in 2002 and it has now come full circle as I step into the leadership role. Alongside this impressive team, we will create the definitive global content, commerce, and experiential platform of convergence culture.”

Feb. 19, 2024 – DTC Brand Beyond Raises Strategic Investment

Beyoung secured a “strategic investment” from Sheikh Tahnoon Bin Saeed Bin Tahnoon Al Nahyan’s royal office. The Udaipur-based direct-to-consumer fashion brand says that it will use the new funds to “strengthen its market position and drive innovation to provide high-quality clothing to its customers,” while also aiming to “increase its global potential and strengthen its omni-channel presence with over 300 stores expected to open worldwide within three years.” Zulfiquar Ghadiyali, the Executive Director of the Private Office of Sheikh Tahnoon Bin Saeed Bin Tahnoon Al Nahyan, said, “We recognise the immense potential within Beyoung, especially in its strategic focus on reaching Tier II and III cities globally. The strategic investment in Beyoung aligns with our long-term vision of supporting the Indian apparel industry and fostering the creation of international brands.”

Feb. 16, 2024 – Guess to Acquire Rag & Bone

Guess Inc. will acquire New York-based fashion brand Rag & Bone in a deal that will see it enter into a joint venture with global brand management firm, WHP Global. The deal is expected to close in Q1 of 2025, according to Guess, which will acquire all the Rag & Bone operating assets with its contribution of $56.5 million toward the purchase. Together, Guess? and WHP Global will jointly own Rag & Bone’s intellectual property. In a statement, Guess? co-founder and chief creative officer Paul Marciano said, “Rag & Bone is a brand I have always loved and respected. It is a brand well known for its pre-eminence in American fashion that over the years has stayed true to its roots and founding values, with an unwavering commitment to quality and authenticity. This acquisition is the first one in the 43-year history of Guess?”

Feb. 11, 2024 – Tod’s to Go Private With L Catterton Deal

L Catterton is offering to acquire a 36 percent stake in Tod’s at 43 euros ($46) per share, a 17.6 percent premium to Friday’s closing price, for a deal that totals up to 512 million euros. “The offer values the company at just over 1.4 billion euros ($1.5 billion), versus a market value of 1.2 billion,” per Reuters. “Leaving the stock exchange now … is the most appropriate strategic choice,” Tod’s Chief Executive Diego Della Valle said in a statement. (L Catterton is backed by LVMH, which has long-maintained a stake in Tod’s; as of 2021, LVMH’s stake in the Italian fashion/leather goods brand rose to 10 percent.)

Feb. 8, 2024 – Perfect Moment Makes NYSE Debut

Luxury ski and outerwear company Perfect Moment Ltd. offered just upwards of 1.33 million shares in its public debut on the NYSE American exchange. Trading opened on February 8 at $4.43. The London-headquartered company, which describes itself as “a luxury lifestyle brand that combines fashion and technical performance for its ranges of skiwear, outerwear, swimwear and activewear,” has granted the underwriters a 45-day option to purchase up to an additional 200,100 shares of common stock to cover over-allotments, if any, at the public offering price, less the underwriting discount.

Feb. 7, 2024 – SIXTYPERCENT Raises $3.1M in Series A

SIXTY PERCENT has raised 460 million yen ($3.1 million) in a Series A funding round led by Global Brain’s Kuroneko Innovation Fund, an existing investor, with participation from Ambush co-founder Verbal. The Tokyo-based e-commerce platform, which connects Asian fashion brands with Japanese consumers, says it will use the new funds to “achieve further business expansion with [the help of] Yamato Holdings Co., Ltd., the Limited Partner of KURONEKO Fund.” The company says that it has been established as a “unique cross-border e-commerce solution” that offers a wide range of features all in one place including multi-language assistance, logistics, payment, and customer service.

Feb. 1, 2024 – “Sustainable” Activewear Brand Reflo Raises £1m

Reflo has raised £1 million in a Seed round with participation from England football star Harry Kane. The Doncaster, England-based “sustainable” performance-wear brand says that its offerings – which “focus on sustainability, performance, and style, specializing in golf but also catering for gym goers, runners and other sports like tennis and padel” – are “predominantly made from recycled polyester, derived from single-use plastic waste destined for landfill which results in its fabrics using 50% less energy and producing 70% less carbon than virgin polyester, requiring no new oil.” It will use the new funds to support its production and business operations, particularly in material sourcing, staff, and production factory choices.

Jan. 31, 2024 – Coupang Finalizes Acquisition of Farfetch Holdings

Coupang has finalized its acquisition of Farfetch Holdings plc, confirming that Farfetch “will continue delivering exceptional services for its brand and boutique partners.” WWD cited sources as saying that negotiations to sell non-core assets in the Farfetch portfolio, such as Browns and New Guards Group, “are ongoing,” and that Farfetch founder Jose Neves “is on leave, and it remains unclear when he will return to the business.”

Jan. 25, 2024 – Newme Raises $5.4M in Seed Round

Newme has raised Rs 45 crore ($5.4 million) in a Seed funding round led by Fireside Ventures with participation from Aum Ventures, 2am VC, and All In Capital. The Bengaluru, India-based fast fashion brand, which focuses on Gen Z, claims that it creates 500 new designs per week largely using technology that is guided by four designers. Newme’s co-founder and CEO Sumit Jasoria said the company will use the new funds to “enhance our supply chain and scale-up the manufcaturing in [India], go from 2 to 20 cities in our offline play and build a stronger tech team over the course of the coming 12 months.” It will also use a portion of the proceeds to hire more individuals in leadership roles.

Jan. 11, 2024 – Harry Styles Takes Minority Stake in S.S. Daley

Singer Harry Styles has taken a minority stake in British menswear brand S.S. Daley. Founder Steven Stokey-Daley, who confirmed the funding on January 11, said, “It’s been very much organic. One of the really nice things is, Harry approached me and sort of made it apparent that he was a fan of what we’re doing. And of course, I’m very much a fan of his.” Stokey-Daley further stated, “Harry and I have a shared vision for the future of S.S. Daley and we look forward to this new chapter together as we focus on brand longevity and scaling the business into a modern British heritage house.”

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