Image: Fendi

Mergers and acquisitions continue to garner headlines amid enduring consolidation in the fashion, luxury, sportswear, and beauty segments, as well as in the resale and web3 realms. Key deals have seen LVMH add Tiffany & Co. to its lineup of brands, bolstering its position in the hard luxury space; Nike purchase digitally-native brand RTFKT, as companies place their bets on the burgeoning virtual world; and Farfetch nab a 47.5 percent stake in Yoox Net-a-Porter in what is expected to the first leg of a larger transaction. At the same time, other acquisitions are proving to be integral to the operations of fashion and luxury industry entities – those that see big brands amass stakes in their critical suppliers (or acquire those companies outright) in an effort to exert increased control over the manufacturing of their offerings and shore up their supply chains to ensure closer ties to sources of raw materials and valuable know-how. 

Not a new trend, luxury goods brands – from watch companies to wine makers – have been busy acquiring their suppliers in recent years in order to future-proof their own businesses (and potentially shut out rivals that may share the same supplier; it is not uncommon for suppliers to serve multiple brands at the same time). Nonetheless, vertical integration activities appear to have been accelerated by the impact of COVID-19, which has required companies to “shift to e-commerce sales channel and [engage in] supply chain reorganization and monitoring,” things that Deloitte points to as among the “main new strategies adopted by companies” in the wake of the pandemic. 

In order to key a close eye on the development of trends in this space, we have compiled a (running) timeline of supply-focused investments and M&A events to provide a broad overview of which players are raising funds, which are merging, and how the trajectory of this segment of the market evolves over time.

Mar. 14, 2023 – Kering to Acquire Eyewear Manufacturer UNT

Kering Eyewear has signed an agreement to acquire 100 percent of the share capital of “long-term, high-quality supplier [and] business partner” UNT, Usinage & Nouvelles Technologies in order “to strengthen its position in the luxury eyewear industry.” In a release, Kering revealed that “this transaction represents another important step in the industrial development strategy of Kering Eyewear, which controls its supply chain through strategic partnerships with industry-leading manufacturers.” It further asserted that the deal “represents the opportunity to create an integrated luxury eyewear platform with best-in-class manufacturing capabilities, facilities and talents.”

The terms of the deal have not been disclosed, but Kering confirmed that the transaction is subject to the clearance by the relevant competition authorities and is expected to be completed in the second quarter of 2023.

Jan. 4, 2023 – Gruppo Florence Acquires Ricamificio GS

Gruppo Florence has acquired Ricamificio GS, a firm known for its techniques, including embroidery, screen printing, stitching, etc., for an disclosed sum. Ricamificio GS counts major luxury brands, including Fendi, Louis Vuitton, and Lanvin, as clients.  

This is a short excerpt from a data set that is published exclusively for TFL Enterprise subscribers. For access to our up-to-date supply chain investments and M&A tracker, inquire today about how to sign up for an Enterprise subscription.