Richemont has today made an offer to acquire the entire share capital of Yoox Net-A-Porter Group (YNAP). The luxury conglomerate is already the group’s largest shareholder and YNAP CEO Federico Marchetti has said he welcomed the €38 per share bid, which is still subject to shareholder approval.
“Today marks an historic event of the Yoox Net-A-Porter Group,” he said in a statement. “Richemont explained that the rationale for the investment is to build on YNAP’s solid track record of growth. Richemont aims to provide additional resources that further strengthen and accelerate YNAP’s long-term leadership in online luxury,” Marchetti said.
He added that under the terms of the deal YNAP would continue to be managed as a separate company from Richemont, which owns labels such as Cartier, Chloe and Azzedine Alaia, “providing a neutral and highly attractive platform for all luxury brands.”
The YNAP group was formed in 2015 when Italian group YOOX, which was founded by Marchetti 20 years ago and floated in Milan in 2009, was merged with British-based luxury online group Net-A-Porter in which Richemont was the largest shareholder. The deal led to the departure of Net-A-Porter founder Dame Natalie Massenet, who had been due to remain as chairman of the enlarged group, while Marchetti took over as CEO.
“As a passionate entrepreneur, I remember with pride the hard work and excitement of Yoox’s IPO in 2009, when we listed our shares at just over €4 and total revenues were around €150m.
“It was always the dream to create something much bigger. This became possible through the combination of Yoox and Net-A-Porter in 2015, a vision shared by Richemont,” Marchetti continued.
Last week it was revealed that revenues in the group had hit €2bn. Under the terms of the deal Marchetti would have to give up his 4% share holding but he said the move would not “change my entrepreneurial commitment to YNAP”.
Richemont chairman Johann Rupert said: “We are […] proud to have participated in the growth of Net-A-Porter since its infancy and in the creation of Yoox Net-A-Porter Group, the world’s leading online luxury retailer. With this new step, we intend to strengthen Richemont’s presence and focus on the digital channel, which is becoming critically important in meeting luxury consumers’ needs.
“We are very pleased with the results achieved by Yoox Net-A-Porter’s management team, led by Federico Marchetti, and we intend to support them going forward to execute their strategy and further accelerate the growth of the business.
“Thanks to our long-term commitment and resources, we see a meaningful opportunity to strengthen further Yoox Net-A-Porter Group’s leading positioning in luxury e-commerce, growing the business in existing and new geographies, increasing product availability and range, and continuing to develop unparalleled services and content for today’s highly discerning consumers,” Rupert said.