The largest shareholder in Italian online fashion retailer Yoox Net-a-Porter Group (YNAP) has put out an offer to buy the shares in the company that it doesn’t already own, industry news source Business of Fashion reported.
Switzerland-based luxury goods holding company Richemont — which entered into an agreement with Italy's Yoox Group to merge the company with Net-a-Porter in an all-share deal in 2015 — is seeking nearly 50 percent of the company at €38 per share. The price represents an approximately 26 percent premium over Yoox Net-a-Porter’s closing price on the Milan Bourse.
If the tender offer were to be accepted, Richemont would invest about €2.7 billion, which would value the overall YNAP business at around €5 billion.
Federico Marchetti, YNAP’s chief executive officer, said he’s open to considering the bid, and the company waived a clause that would hinder Richemont and its affiliates from buying additional shares in the company.
“Richemont explained that the rationale for the investment is to build on YNAP’s solid track record of growth,” Marchetti said. “Richemont aims to provide additional resources that further strengthen and accelerate YNAP’s long-term leadership in online luxury. This means investing even more in product, technology, logistics, people and marketing.”
Prior to its acquisition of Milanese rival Yoox, Net-a-Porter reported record sales in 2015. Yoox traffics in a larger number of discounted brands than Net-a-Porter, which exclusively sells full-priced fashion items and accessories. Analysts estimated the firm’s value at approximately $1.65 billion USD in 2015.
Net-a-Porter cannot buy up all the competition, however. Traditional luxury retailers are getting more into the online sales act, and industry experts expect fashion brands to take greater control over selling their products directly to the consumer — a move which could cut out online fashion hubs altogether.
Prior to the deal, Natalie Massenet, who founded Net-a-Porter 15 years ago — and who had been slated to lead the combined entity as chairman — stepped down in 2015.