Fashion Investments and M&A Tracker
A growing number of M&A deals and investment 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.”
A Timeline of Transactions
With the foregoing in mind, here is a tracker of the most recent fashion and luxury-focused M&A and investments …
Mar. 28, 2023 – Next to Acquire Cath Kidston for $10.5M
British clothing chain Next Plc has agreed to buy fellow fashion brand Cath Kidston, which was recently placed into administration. Next will pay £8.5 million ($10.5 million) for the brand’s trademarks, domain names, and other intellectual property of Cath Kidston. Given that Next is not acquiring any of Cath Kidston’s inventory, it will license the domain name back to the administrators for “up to 12 weeks to clear stock before a re-launch under Next’s ownership,” per Reuters.
Mar, 27, 2023 – Bluestar Alliance Acquires Scotch & Soda
Bluestar Alliance announced its acquisition of Amsterdam-based Dutch fashion brand Scotch & Soda. The acquisition by Bluestar Alliance “will allow for the continuation of the brand and its products across key markets including the Netherlands,” according to the New York-based brand management company, which maintains a portfolio of brands, including Hurley, Bebe and Tahari, among others. The deal, which follows closely from Scotch & Soda’s bankruptcy filing in the Netherlands, will enable the company “to continue its activities in selected markets,” per Bluestar. Jasper Berkenbosch, attorney at Jones Day and trustee of the bankrupt entities, says: “We are happy that we were able to make this announcement following the bankruptcy. We have seen quite some interest from parties to acquire some of the bankrupt assets. The proposal of Bluestar Alliance was by far the best deal for all stakeholders involved.”
Mar. 10, 2023 – Stripes Takes Stake in Khaite
Khaite has taken on an investment from Stripes, a New York-based growth equity firm that focuses on high-growth software and consumer businesses and boasts investments in running sneaker co. On Holding, sustainable fashion brand Reformation, and undergarments-maker Parade, among others. Khaite – which was launched in 2016 by designer Catherine Holstein with backing from Assembled Brands – will use the new cash to enable its next stage of growth. Ken Fox, founder and partner at Stripes, told WWD, “Khaite is an extraordinary brand rooted in product quality and taste. We are excited to build from this tremendous foundation to support the team in scaling a global luxury house.” The terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Khaite surpassed $100 million in revenue as of February, and has seen triple-digit growth year-over-year, according to Holstein. The brand has had some notable assistance on the backend, with Assembled Brands’ Adam Pritzker revealed that former Gucci CEO Domenico De Sole was “involved in helping build and assemble Khaite.”
Mar. 2, 2023 – L Catterton Takes Controlling Stake in A.P.C.
L Catterton, a leading global consumer-focused investment firm, announced that it has entered into “a binding agreement to form a strategic partnership to advance [A.P.C.’s] international presence,” with L Catterton Europe slated to acquire a controlling interest in A.P.C. Founder Jean Touitou and Judith Touitou will continue to hold a significant minority. Eduardo Velasco, a Partner in L Catterton Europe, said, “A highly differentiated brand with a robust international strategy and sustainability at its heart, A.P.C. is praised for its authenticity, a defining attribute that nurtures the strong connection and emotional attachment from its loyal customers.”
The transaction is expected to close by the end of the quarter. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Feb. 9, 2023 – Africa-Focused e-Commerce Co. Jendaya Raises $1.2M Pre-Seed Round
London-based Africa-focused platform Jendaya has raised £1 million ($1.2 million) in pre-seed funding to build out a platform that acts as “a gateway for global luxury brands to the African continent and for consumers in the rest of the world to discover African brands.” So far, the company, which was launched in December 2021, has “onboarded up to 70 brands via an invite-only pilot and direct relationships with multi-brand boutique partners, it plans to double that this year,” per TechCrunch. “We wanted to make a platform where Africans on the continent should they want Gucci loafers or Bottega bags, they don’t have to jump through hoops or have a month or few weeks’ delay because they can have that in their hands in some days or a week, so that’s why we started Jendaya,” Zendaya’s founder and CEO Ayotunde Rufai told TC.
Dec. 23, 2022 – Vince Holdings Sells Rebecca Taylor IP
Vince Holding Corp., a global contemporary retailer led primarily by the Vince Brand, announced that the company’s indirectly wholly owned subsidiary, Rebecca Taylor, Inc., completed the sale of its intellectual property and certain related ancillary assets to RT IPCO, LLC, an affiliate of Ramani Group. The sale was completed as part of the wind down of the Rebecca Taylor business previously announced by the company.
Dec. 16, 2022 – Virgio Raises $37M in Series A to Build “Real Time” Fashion Platform
Fashion startup Virgio raised $37 million in a new financing round, which it will use to build “a global fashion brand” from the South Asian market. Prosus Ventures, Alpha Wave and Accel co-led Virgio’s Series A funding, valuing the 1-year-old company at $161 million (post-money). Virgio says that it is looking to build a transformative business by “streamlining design, manufacturing and purchasing processes in ‘real-time’ to offer Gen Z and millennials a platform where they can discover and purchase the new trendy apparels.”
Dec. 16, 2022 – Fraser Group Takes Stake in JD Sports Brands
Frasers Group acquired shares in premium fashion brands of JD Sports for about 47.5 million pounds ($57.7 million), as the British retail group continues move upmarket premium market. “Frasers, formerly called Sports Direct, also acquired and transferred shares of more than 10 of the premium fashion brands, including Pretty Green, Cricket and Topgrade Sportswear, which the sports retailer held,” per Reuters.
Nov. 15, 2022 – Estée Lauder to Acquire Tom Ford in $2.8B Deal
Estée Lauder Companies will buy up Tom Ford for $2.8 billion by way of a combination of cash, debt and $300 million in deferred payments. The deal – which will be Estée Lauder’s “biggest and latest in a series of transactions,” and the biggest deal in the luxury space in 2022 – will see the NYSE-traded cosmetics giant take on fellow New York-headquartered Tom Ford’s 17-year-old fashion business, and its robust beauty, skincare, and fragrance arm, of course.
Nov 8, 2022 – Gap to Sell Greater China Unit to Baozun
Gap is off-loading its Greater China arm to its operating partner in the region. Baozun Inc. confirmed that it signed definitive agreements to acquire Gap Greater China – namely, Gap Shanghai Commercial and Gap Taiwan Ltd – in an all-cash transaction worth $40 million, and to obtain the exclusive rights “to manufacture, market, distribute and sell” Gap products in Greater China for a two-decade term. Since December 2018, Baozun, a leading brand e-commerce solution provider and digital commerce enabler in China, has served as Gap’s Greater China e-commerce service partner, and “successfully enabling Gap to expand its e-commerce business in Greater China, [and] delivering solid growth,” the company said in a statement.
“We are deeply committed to our customers in Greater China and know that it is a market with enormous potential for our brand,” Gap Brand President and CEO Mark Breitbard stated, noting that “Baozun has helped drive impressive results in our online growth and penetration of the Greater China market in the past four years, and we feel confident about our partner’s future value-creating China-for-China plans for Gap Greater China.”
Oct. 25, 2022 – Zara Owner Inditex to Sell Russian Arm to Daher Group
Inditex, the parent to fast fashion giant Zara, will sell off its Russian division, including its store lease contracts in the country, to United Arab Emirates-based Daher Group. In a statement, Inditex revealed that it has reached “an initial agreement for the sale of its business in the Russian Federation to the Daher Group, which has relevant stakes in the distribution and real estate sectors,” stating that the move will “enable the preservation of a substantial number of jobs generated by the Inditex group in Russia.” The terms of the deal have not been disclosed
Oct. 24, 2022 – Frasers Group Boosts Stake in Hugo Boss, ASOS
British retail group Frasers has increased its existing stakes in Hugo Boss, as well as British fashion e-commerce company ASOS. Frasers Group confirmed that it has boosted in total stake in Hugo Boss AG to 32.8 percent, a holding that is worth approximately 960 million euros ($946.9 million). That stake consists of 3.03 million shares of Hugo Boss common stock (representing 4.3 percent of share capital) and 20.09 million shares of common stock via the sale of put options, which represents 28.5 percent of share capital. At the same time, the Mike Ashley-run group also doubled-down on its investment in ASOS, building up a 5.1 percent stake, which makes it the fourth largest ASOS shareholder. In a statement, Frasers said that it “continues to see opportunities that strengthen Frasers Group’s brand proposition,” citing its “extensive ambitions to grow the business inside and outside of the UK and is constantly exploring the potential for further expansion.”
Updated (Jan. 6, 2022): Frasers revealed that it has cut down on its holding in Hugo Boss. The company not holds 3.9 percent of Hugo Boss stock directly and a further 25 percent via the sale of derivatives, bringing its “maximum exposure” to German fashion house down to $691 million.
Oct. 17, 2022 – Meritz Securities Commits $50M Ahead of Lanvin SPAC
Meritz Securities Co., Ltd has committed $50 million in a private placement ahead of Lanvin Group’s NYSE listing slated for later this year, the fashion group announced. A subsidiary of South Korea-based leading global financial services conglomerate Meritz Financial Group, Meritz Securities is also “considering an additional investment of up to $15 million by way of a PIPE subscription, both at the same per share valuation as applicable to the de-SPAC transaction,” according to Lanvin. The proceeds of these investments will be used to further support the Group’s strong growth momentum.
Oct. 12, 2022 – Frasers Group Acquires Sneaker, Streetwear Retailer Sneakerboy
UK-based apparel and sportswear company Frasers Group has acquired defunct Australian luxury sneaker and streetwear retailer Sneakerboy Group, for an undisclosed sum. Frasers – whose portfolio ranges from its namesake brand and House of Fraser to fast fashion brand Missguided and Sports Direct – will acquire Sneakerboy from insolvency firm Hamilton Murphy, which has run the company since it collapsed into bankruptcy in July.
Sept. 16, 2022 – Everlane Secures $90 Million in Debt Financing
Everlane has secured $90 million in debt financing, including a $65 million revolving credit facility and a $25 million first-in last-out term loan, according to releases from Houlihan Lokey Advisers and CIT Northbridge Credit. “This financing will provide acceleration for our business through new stores and product expansion and allow us to continue to extend our mission of sustainability at a much-needed time in the world,” Everlane founder Michael Preysman said in statement. Beyond that, Everlane revealed that the funding will enable the company to “refinance existing indebtedness and provide incremental liquidity for growth initiatives as well as to pay transaction-related fees and expenses.” “With the trends we’re observing in the apparel space and the heightened focus on sustainability and environmental impact, we are pleased to work with Everlane to be on the front lines of this transformation,” Neal Legan, managing director at CIT Northbridge Credit, said.
Sept. 6, 2022 – D’Amelio Family Raises $6 Million to Launch Brands Venture
The D’Amelio family, which includes sisters Charli and Dixie who are two of the most heavily-followed and top-earning TikTok personalities, has raised a $6 million seed round to launch a new fashion and lifestyle-focused venture. The new project, D’Amelio Brands, “will create its own brands in a variety of industries including fashion, beauty and lifestyle that are 100 percent owned by the family,” per CNBC. Investors in the round include Fanatics CEO Michael Rubin, entrepreneur Richard Rosenblatt, and Apple Senior Vice President of Services Eddy Cue.
Sept. 5, 2022 – Alexander Wang Raises First Outside Funds
Alexander Wang has announced its first-ever outside investment, with two China-based entities – venture capital fund Challenjers Capital and apparel manufacturing and real estate firm Youngor Group – taking an undisclosed minority stake in the New York-based brand, whose eponymous founder and creative director has faced sexual assault allegations in recent years. According to Vogue, “The investment will be used to support the brand’s rehabilitation efforts, which began with a comeback runway show in Los Angeles in April. Wang projects that the funding, along with the external expertise that accompanies it, will help to double the company’s revenue within five years — it currently turns over $200 million annually.” Such anticipated growth is expected to come by way of the Asian market and an expansion of the brand’s offerings.
Aug. 24, 2022 – Farfetch to Acquire 47.5% Stake in Yoox-Net-a-Porter
Richemont and Farfetch have finalized the long-rumored deal in furtherance of which Richemont will sell a 47.5 percent stake in Yoox-Net-a-Porter to Farfetch. In a statement on Tuesday, Richemont revealed that Symphony Global, one of the investment vehicles of Mohamed Alabbar, which currently maintains a Middle Eastern joint venture with YNAP, will also take a 3.2 percent stake, making YNAP “a neutral industry-wide platform,” and “lay[ing] a path towards FARFETCH potentially acquiring the remaining shares in YNAP [and] bringing together these highly complementary businesses.” The partnership marks “a step change in Richemont Maisons’ omnichannel distribution capabilities,” the Swiss luxury goods group revealed on Tuesday, noting that the “landmark transaction” represents a move “towards the digitalization of the luxury industry.”
Aug. 21, 2022 – Noon to Acquire Namshi for $335 Million
Middle-Eastern e-commerce retailer Noon will acquire Namshi for in a deal that values the fashion retailer at $335.2 million. Emaar Properties announced on Saturday that it reached a deal “in-principle” to sell of Namshi to Noon, the latter of which is backed by Dubai billionaire Mohamed Alabbar and Saudi Arabian sovereign fund the Public Investment Fund. “The planned divestment is with a related party to the Company,” Ahmad Thani Al Matrooshi, the Director & Managing Director at Emaar Properties, said in connection with the impending deal, seemingly referring to Alabbar’s role as the Founder and Chairman of Emaar Properties, as well as a co-founder of Noon.com. “Detailed information will be disclosed once the approvals of Noon Board are received formally,” Al Matrooshi said. Dubai-headquartered Emaar, the company behind properties, such as the Dubai Mall, first acquired a 51 percent stake in Namshi in 2017 for $281 million, and acquired the remaining 49 percent in 2019.
Aug. 16, 2022 – Authentic Brands Snaps Up Ted Baker
Authentic Brands Group has agreed to buy British fashion company Ted Baker in a deal that is worth approximately 211 million pounds ($254 million). “Pandemic-related losses forced Ted Baker to put itself up for sale in April,” Reuters reports, with a rep for New York-based Authentic Brands stating on Tuesday that it “believes there are significant growth opportunities for the Ted Baker brand in North America given (its) … strong consumer recognition in this market.” Authentic Brands has built up its portfolio of companies significantly over the past several years, with Barneys, David Beckham, Forever 21, Juicy Couture, Vision Street Wear, Brooks Brothers, and Aeropostale, among others, falling under its ownership umbrella.
August 8, 2022 – Sequoia Capital China Acquires Majority Stake in Holzweiler
Sequoia Capital China has acquired a majority stake in Holzweiler to help accelerate the Norwegian fashion and lifestyle brand’s global expansion. The 10-year-old company, which was founded by siblings Andreas and Susanne Holzweiler, said in a statement, as reported by BoF that the strategic partnership with Sequoia Capital China will accelerate its direct-to-consumer business internationally, including the United States, United Kingdom, China. It expects consolidated turnover to amount to $50 million in 2022, up 60 percent year-over-year.
June 13, 2022 – Zalando Acquires Highsnobiety
Berlin-based e-commerce platform Zalando has acquired a majority stake in Highsnobiety, the global pioneer of the new luxury culture, in furtherance of an effort that will see the two companies “join forces to lead the way in engaging and inspiring customers.” While continuing “independent operations,” Zalando says that Highsnobiety “will act as a strategic and creative consultant helping [it] develop new inspiration-focused spaces and formats on its platform.” The terms of the deal have not been disclosed, aside from the parties confirming that Highsnobiety founder and CEO David Fischer will retain a minority stake in the business. Prior to the deal, Highsnobiety had raised $8.5 million from investors, including Felix Capital, Torch Capital, Reimann Investors, CASSIUS Family, and Holt Renfrew President and CEO Sebastian Picardo, since its founding in 2005, according to Crunchbase.
June 2, 2022 – Pinterest Acquires The Yes
Pinterest will acquire AI-powered shopping platform The Yes. The deal, the terms of which have not been disclosed comes as the San Francisco-based image sharing and social media service looks to double-down on the shopping aspect of its platform. In furtherance of its mission to “learn what you like and get smarter as you shop,” The Yes, which was founded in 2018 by former Stitch Fix COO Julie Bornstein and Amit Aggarwal, maintains “an extensive fashion taxonomy that uses human expertise and machine learning to power a comprehensive algorithm in fashion.”
“THE YES team are experts in building an end-to-end shopping experience. They share our vision of making it simple to find the right products that are personalized for you based on your taste and style,” Pinterest co-founder and CEO Ben Silbermann said, noting that in the months following the closing of the transaction, “Pinterest plans to sunset the THE YES app and website to allow the merged teams to focus on technology integration and evolving our shopping vision.”
May 17, 2022 – B2B Fashion Supply Chain Marketplace Fashinza Raises $100M
Fashinza has raised $100 million in a Series B round that co-led by Prosus Ventures and Westbridge with participation from Accel, and Elevation, among others, valuing the B2B fashion marketplace at $300 billion valuation. The Delhi, India-based company describes itself as the “fastest apparel manufacturing platform” that “solves apparel/fashion supply chain challenges by connecting fashion brands to experienced manufacturers.” The round brings Fashinza’s total funds raised to $135 million, which CEO Pawan Gupta says the company will use to “refine the company’s supply chain technology and expand into new markets, including raw materials procurement.”
May 2, 2022 – G-III to Acquire Remaining 81 Percent Stake in Karl Lagerfeld Label
DKNY and Sonia Rykiel-owner G-III Apparel Group will acquire the outstanding 81 percent stake in the late Karl Lagerfeld’s eponymous l for $210 million in cash in an M&A deal that will make it the sole owner of the brand. G-III, which first acquired a 19 percent stake in the brand in 2016 after launching a joint venture in 2015, says that it expects that retail sales for the Karl Lagerfeld label could eventually surpass $2 billion.
Apr. 20, 2022 – Destree Raises Series A from Beyonce, Rihanna, Sequoia Capital China
Destree, the Paris-based fashion brand founded by Géraldine Guyot and Laetitia Lumbroso, announced a Series A round that includes big-name investors, such as venture capital firm Sequoia Capital China, Beyoncé, Rihanna, Reese Witherspoon, Gisele Bündchen, Gabriela Hearst, Carmen Busquets, Jessica Alba, Glossier founder Emily Weiss, and Amy Griffin of G9 Ventures. Financial terms were not disclosed, per WWD, but it is understood Guyot and Lumbroso retain majority control of the business, founded in 2016. WWD reports that the funding will be used to “almost double the size of their small team; open Destree’s first freestanding stores; expand into new or underdeveloped markets like the Middle East, China, Japan and the U.S., and supercharge e-commerce operations and digital-native marketing.”
Apr. 5, 2022 – Farfetch Takes Stake in Neiman Marcus Group
Farfetch announced that it will make “a minority common equity investment of up to $200 million” in Neiman Marcus Group in furtherance of a global strategic partnership.” According to a statement from the two retailers, “The partnership builds on Farfetch’s Luxury New Retail vision and advances Neiman Marcus Groups’ pioneering strategy to revolutionize integrated luxury retail, with an initial focus on re-platforming the Bergdorf Goodman website and mobile application to expand its global capabilities and services.” Neiman Marcus says that it will use the proceeds to “further accelerate growth and innovation through investments in technology and digital capabilities.” In a note about the deal, Bernstein analyst Luca Solca stated that it provides Farfetch “a strategic opportunity to stand out among service providers and to benefit from the strength of the local U.S. customers,” namely by way of its and its Luxury New Retail and Farfetch Platform Solutions, its suite of commerce solutions and retail technology for luxury brands and retailers.
Mar. 14, 2022 – Kering to Bolster Eyewear Unit with Maui Jim
Kering Eyewear has signed an agreement to acquire Maui Jim, Inc., the French fashion and luxury goods conglomerate revealed without disclosing the terms of the M&A deal. On the heels of Kering snapping up Danish eyewear brand LINDBERG in July 2021, the group says that “this second key acquisition is also a major step for Kering Eyewear, which has now become unparalleled in its market segment, further validating the strategy that laid behind its creation by Kering in 2014.” The transaction is subject to the clearance by the relevant competition authorities and is expected to be completed in the second half of 2022.
Jan. 28, 2022 – Farfetch to Acquire Violet Grey
Farfetch will acquire beauty brand Violet Grey for an undisclosed sum, the e-commerce platform announced. In a nod to larger implications of the deal, Violet Grey founder Cassandra Grey will act as chairwoman for the brand, while also becoming Farfetch’s global beauty advisor and the co-founder of NGG Beauty, a division of Farfetch’s New Guards Group, with both entities seemingly ramping up their intentions to launch into the beauty space. The launch of a beauty category on the Farfetch marketplace is scheduled for later in the year. “Farfetch has a really strong track record for acquiring really special, founder-led brands and celebrating and protecting that kind of brand equity,” Grey said in statement inn connection with the confirmation of the deal.
Updated (Mar. 8, 2023): In the Annual and Transition Report that it filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Farfetch revealed the terms of the acquisition, “The consideration payable was comprised of $49.4 million of cash, $1.3 million of reverse vesting shares and $5.0 million of Farfetch RSUs based on the Farfetch Limited share price as at the acquisition date. The reverse vesting shares and RSUs include service conditions for certain members of the Violet Grey management team. These did not form part of the purchase consideration and will be expensed over the related vesting period.”
Jan. 27, 2022 – Kim Kardashian’s SKIMS Raises $240 Million
Kim Kardashian’s shapewear label SKIMS raised $240 million in an unknown-series round that was led by hedge fund Lone Pine Capital and that also included D1 Capital Partners, along with existing investors Thrive Capital, Natalie Massenet’s Imaginary Ventures, and Alliance Consumer Growth. The round doubles the barely three-year-old brand at $3.2 billion, up from $1.6 billion in April 2021. Kardashian and SKIMS CEO Jens Grede will retain a controlling stake in the company after the investment, according to Bloomberg.
Jan. 18, 2022 – LVMH Luxury Ventures Invests in Aimé Leon Dore
LVMH’s Luxury Ventures investment vehicle has taken a minority stake in budding New York-based fashion brand Aimé Leon Dore. While the terms of the investment – which appears as though it might be the latest deal to have been brokered by Alexandre Arnault – have not been disclosed, LVMH Luxury Ventures typically targets investments ranging from €2 million to €15 million. In a statement on Tuesday, Aimé Leon Dore founder Teddy Santis stated, “LVMH’s vast network of global leaders across the industry and its rich history in growing exceptional storied brands offers a truly unique partnership opportunity to fuel the next chapter of growth for Aimé Leon Dore.”
Jan. 13, 2022 – LVMH Luxury Ventures Takes a Stake in Heat
Mystery boxes are the latest target of investment for LVMH’s Luxury Ventures, with the French luxury goods conglomerate’s fund among the parties to a $5 million round raised by Heat. OTB Group board member and BVX CEO Stefano Rosso, Singapore-headquartered VC firm Antler, L Catterton partner Michael Mitterlehner, Spotify Director of Global Growth Sven Ahrens, and the Hermès family are some of the other investors in London-based Heat’s seed round, the funds from which will be used to “implement gamification, AI-driven personalization, and interactive drops, all while driving sustainability,” the company revealed.
Nov. 22, 2021 – CVC Capital, HPS Investment Take Stake in Authentic Brands
Private equity firms CVC Capital Partners and HPS Investment Partners have acquired “significant equity stakes” in Authentic Brands Group, putting a a $12.7 billion enterprise value on the company and prompting it to postpone a previously-planned initial public offering until at least 2023. In a statement, ABG said that “since its founding in 2010, [it] has experienced significant growth by implementing a proven playbook that connects strong brands with best-in-class licensees and a network of partners to optimize value in the marketplace.” Among the 30 or so brands under its ownership umbrella are Forever 21, Barneys New York, Aeropostale, Brooks Brothers, and Vision Street Wear.
Sept. 23, 2021 – G-III to Acquire Sonia Rykiel
G-III Apparel Group revealed that it has entered into an agreement to purchase Sonia Rykiel, with plans to accelerate the relaunch of the French fashion brand primarily in Europe, for the fall of 2022, with collections across multiple categories. The transaction, which comes less than two years after brothers Eric and Michael Dayan successfully bid to acquire all of the bankrupt fashion brand’s assets via a court-administered process. (Those assets included the brand’s intellectual property rights (namely, its various global trademark registrations, and decades of archives and product prototypes); the commercial leases for its brick-and-mortar outposts in France – from its Saint Germain flagship to a glitzy boutique in Cannes, among others; and its remaining stock of garments and accessories.) The deal is expected to close by the end of October 2021.
Aug. 12, 2021 – Authentic Brands Group Buys Reebok
Adidas is selling its Reebok brand to Authentic Brands Groups for up to 2.1 billion euros ($2.46 billion), with the German sporting wear group looking to “focus on its core brand after the U.S. fitness label failed to live up to expectations,” per Reuters. Authentic Brand, which filed its preliminary IPO documentation in July, has been on a buying streak in the past few years, with the brand developer buying up an array of fashion and apparel companies, ranging from Juicy Couture and Judith Leiber to Jones New York, Volcom, and Aeropostale.
Jul. 28, 2021 – Aeffe Takes Full Control of Moschino
Italian fashion and luxury goods group Aeffe S.p.A. acquired the remaining 30 percent of Moschino in an M&A deal that will see it pay 66.6 million euros ($78.51 million), and bring its holding of the company to 100 percent and the valuation of the Jeremy Scott-designed brand to $261.7 million. Aeffe also owns Alberta Ferretti, Philosophy by Lorenzo Serafini and Pollini. In a statement, Aeffe Executive Chairman Massimo Ferretti said, “The operation we have just concluded has long been considered an important step in our medium-long term growth strategy. With the full control over MOSCHINO brand, we are now in the best conditions to manage all activities related to the brand’s value chain, from product to quality and with positive effects on image, distribution and communication.”
Jul. 20, 2021 – LVMH Takes Majority Stake in Off-White
LVMH announced on Tuesday that it is taking a majority stake in Off-White, the upscale fashion/streetwear brand that Virgil Abloh launched in 2013 via a new M&A deal. In a statement, LVMH revealed that in addition to taking a 60 percent stake in Off-White, it has entered into a new “arrangement” with Abloh to “jointly pursue new projects across luxury categories.”
Jul. 18, 2021 – L Catterton Takes Majority Stake in Etro
Italian fashion brand Etro announced on July 18 that it entered into a binding M&A agreement to partner with L Catterton. Under the terms of the agreement, LVMH-affiliated L Catterton Europe will acquire a majority stake in Etro, while the Etro family will retain a significant minority. Etro Founder Gerolamo Etro will be appointed as Chairman of the company.
Jul. 12, 2021 – LVMH Takes Minority Stake in Phoebe Philo
Phoebe Philo announced that she is launching her own label after spending three and a half years out of the spotlight following her 10-year tenure with Celine, and revealed that LVMH has taken a minority stake in her soon-to-launch label. The size of LVMH’s minority position and the terms of the deal have not been disclosed.
Jul. 11, 2021 – Nordstrom Takes Stake in Four ASOS Brands
Nordstrom announced that it has acquired a minority stake in four apparel brands owned by British fashion group ASOS. Topshop, Topman, Miss Selfridge and the activewear label HIIT, which ASOS acquired from Arcadia Group for £295 million ($407.21 million) in February 2021, will enable the U.S. department store chain to target millennial and Gen-Z consumers. Financial terms of the M&A deal have not been disclosed.
Jul. 8, 2021 – Kering Acquires LINDBERG
Kering is bolstering its eyewear division by way of a deal in which Kering Eyewear will acquire 100 percent of the share capital of LINDBERG. The acquisition is “an important milestone in the successful expansion of Kering Eyewear and perfectly fits with its development strategy,” according to Kering, which launched its eyewear division in 2014, a venture that it says consists of “an innovative business model that has enabled [it] to reach a critical size in the market with close to €600 million wholesale external revenues” as of FY2019.
Jul. 7, 2021 – Glossier Raises $80 Million in Latest Round
Glossier announced that it has raised $80 million in Series E funding. The round, which was led by Lone Pine Capital with participation from existing investors Forerunner Ventures, Index Ventures, IVP, Sequoia Capital, and Thrive Capital, values the millennial-focused beauty company at $1.8 billion.
Jun. 30, 2021 – Richemont Acquires Delvaux
Cartier owner Richemont announced on Wednesday that it has acquired a 100 percent stake in Belgian luxury leather goods brand Delvaux in “a private transaction.” Founded in 1829, Richemont says that Delvaux is the oldest luxury leather goods Maison in the world. The Swiss conglomerate revealed that the transaction has “no material financial impact on [its] consolidated net assets or operating result for the year ending March 31, 2022,” and that Delvaux’s revenues will be reported within its “Other” business area. The M&A deal appears to be a sign that Richemont is looking to bolster its softer luxury (and maybe even fashion) offerings, having built its name in the hard luxury (i.e., jewelry and watches) segment of the market.
Jun. 24, 2021 – GOAT Nabs $3.7 Billion Valuation with New Round
Online sneaker and apparel marketplace GOAT Group has raised $195 million in a new funding round, which has “more than doubled its valuation to $3.7 billion,” per Reuters. The Los Angeles-based company, which was founded in 2015, boasts some 30 million customers across 170 countries, and “posted gross merchandise value, which represents the total volume of goods sold, of $2 billion over the past year as sales of sneakers and apparel surged.” The buzzy platform made headlines early this year when it announced that it had welcomed a “strategic investment” from Groupe Artemis – the controlling shareholder of Gucci, Balenciaga, Saint Laurent, and Bottega Veneta’s parent company Kering – as it “continues its expansion in fashion apparel and new categories.” (It also garnered attention in connection with a settlement in the trademark lawsuit filed against it by London-based brand Goat Fashion.)
Jun. 24, 2021 – Kering Takes Stake in Luxury Rental Co. Cocoon
Kering has taken an undisclosed stake in a luxury rental company. In a statement on Thursday, Kering announced that it has invested in Cocoon, a London-based startup that specializes in facilitating rentals for luxury handbags – including offerings from upwards of 30 brands, such as Kering-owned Gucci, Balenciaga, and Bottega Veneta – with the investment coming as part of a larger $3.5 million round that also included participation from resale platform Depop’s founder Simon Beckerman, among others. Kering’s chief client and digital officer Gregory Boutte said the deal is part of a larger strategy by the conglomerate to invest in innovative young companies.
Jun. 18, 2021 – LVMH Takes Full Control of Pucci
LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton acquired the outstanding 33 percent stake in Emilio Pucci just over two decades after it paid an undisclosed sum for a 67 percent ownership stake in the Italian fashion house in 2000. In a statement on Friday, as first reported by WWD, Toni Belloni, LVMH’s group managing director thanked the Pucci family, and in particular, Laudomia Pucci, the daughter of founder Emilio Pucci, who has served as the Deputy Chairman and Image Director of the brand, “for their friendship and collaboration over the years.” In conjunction with the deal, Ms. Pucci will step down from her current role and “dedicate herself to the archives and promoting the heritage of her late father.”
Jun. 10, 2021 – Fosun Fashion Group Nabs Sergio Rossi in M&A Deal
In a statement on June 10, Fosun Fashion Group revealed that it has signed a M&A agreement to acquire 100 percent of Sergio Rossi S.p.A from from Absolute Luxury Holding S.r.l., an independently-managed investment subsidiary of Investindustrial V L.P., for an undisclosed sum. The Shanghai-headquartered group stated that the acquisition will “further enrich FFG’s luxury brand portfolio, which currently includes Lanvin, Wolford, Caruso and St. John Knits, complementing the group’s core competency through luxury accessories.”
Jun. 8, 2021 – Sequoia Takes Stake in SSENSE
SSENSE announced that it has sold an undisclosed stake in the company to California-based venture capital firm Sequoia Capital in a M&A deal that values the fashion e-commerce retailer at 5 billion CAD ($4.13 billion). As for what the investment might entail, it appears that the high fashion-focused retailer has set its sights on expansion in China, as Angelica Cheung, the former editor-in-chief of Vogue China, who joined Sequoia Capital China as a venture partner in February, will join the SSENSE’s board in connection with the deal.
Apr. 22, 2021 – LVMH Boosts Stake in Tod’s
Tod’s revealed that LVMH will boost its exist stake in Tod’s to 10 percent by way of a new 6.8 percent increase. “A source close to the matter said the French giant does not expect to raise its stake further for now,” Reuters reported, noting that Tod’s founder and chairman Diego Della Valle has been a member of LVMH’s board of directors since 2002. While Della Valle has repeatedly denied longstanding chatter about a takeover, he stated on Thursday that “this may represent an excellent reason to consider further opportunities to be taken in the future ahead,” referring to LVMH’s stake increase.
Mar. 25, 2021 – Made in Italy Fund acquires Dondup
Made in Italy Fund has acquired Milan-based fashion brand Dondup from fellow private equity firm L Catterton for an undisclosed sum. “The fund said it aims at creating a fashion conglomerate with Dondup and other fashion brands it owns – 120%Lino, known for its linen clothes, and jewellery and accessories maker Rosantica – and expanding their foothold in Europe and the United States, Reuters reported. The firm also maintains a majority stake in 6-year old Italian streetwear label GCDS, which it acquired in November 2020.
Mar. 8, 2021 – Ferrari owner Exor takes 24% stake in Louboutin
Exor Group – the $30 billion Netherlands-incorporated investment group run by the Italian Agnelli family and the largest shareholder in Italian automaker Ferrari – announced that it will take a 24 percent stake in the independently-owned Louboutin in exchange for 541 million euros ($640 million), a deal that values the 30-year old Paris-based footwear brand at $2.3 billion euros ($2.73 billion) and sets it up for expansion, particularly in China.
Mar. 5, 2021 – Margiela-owner OTB acquires Jil Sander
Japanese apparel group Onward Holdings announced that it will sell fashion brand Jil Sander to Renzo Rosso’s luxury group, OTB, the parent of Diesel, Maison Margiela, Marni, Amiri, and Viktor & Rolf. The financial figures associated with the M&A deal remain undisclosed.
Mar. 1, 2021 – Kering leads $216 million Vesitaire round
Kering and American investment firm Tiger Global Management are leading a new funding round that sees secondhand marketplace Vestiaire Collective bring in $216 million in new funding, along with existing investors, including its CEO Max Bittner, Vogue’s parent company Condé Nast, and the Eurazeo Group, among others. The deal gives Paris-based Vestiaire “unicorn status” – i.e., puts a $1 billion-plus value on the privately-held company – and “ideally positions it for its next cycle of accelerated growth.”
Dec. 9, 2020 – Exor Group acquires Shang Xia
Ferrari owner Exor Group announced that it will invest “around €80 million [$96.9 million] in Chinese brand Shang Xiavia a reserved capital increase that will result in it becoming the company’s majority shareholder.” Exor noted that Hermès – which “has accompanied Shang Xia successfully throughout the initial phase of its development – will remain as an important shareholder alongside Exor and [founder] Jiang Qiong Er.”
Dec. 7, 2020 – Moncler acquires Stone Island
Moncler announced that it will acquire Italian fashion label Stone Island for $1.4 billion. The Milan-headquartered luxury outerwear company will “purchase 70 percent of Stone Island’s parent company SPW from Chief Executive Officer Carlo Rivetti and other members of his family, [and] then buy the remaining 30 percent from Singapore’s state investor Temasek” in furtherance of a two-step transaction.
Nov. 9, 2020 – VF Corp. acquires Supreme for $2.1 billion
Three years after Supreme sold off a reported 50 percent stake to private equity giant Carlyle Group, VF Corp revealed that it will pay $2.1 billion to buy popular streetwear brand. The deal – which was formally completed on December 28, 2020 – saw VF Corp. take full ownership of Supreme, with current Supreme investors Carlyle Group and New York-based private equity firm Goode Partners agreeing to sell their stakes in the New York-based brand.
Nov. 5, 2020 – Alibaba, Richemont invest $1.1 billion in Farfetch
Alibaba Group Holding and Richemont announced that they will invest $1.1 billion in online luxury fashion retailer Farfetch and its new marketplace in China in one of fashion/luxury’s biggest M&A deals of the year. At the same time, Artemis – an investment vehicle tied to Gucci owner Kering – simultaneously announced that it would increase its stake in Farfetch with a $50 million injection of cash in exchange for Farfetch’s Class A ordinary shares.
Oct. 29, 2020 – LVMH and Tiffany & Co. agree to $15.8 billion merger
LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton and Tiffany & Co. managed to salvage their M&A deal, with the French fashion and luxury goods conglomerate agreeing to pay a few dollars less per share to acquire the New York-based jewelry company. In a statement, the parties confirmed that LVMH will pay $131.5 per Tiffany share, down from the $135/share price tag they initially agreed to in November 2019 before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.