Latest fashion industry deals

Date: January 2024
Buyer: Authentic Brands Group
Target: Sperry
Business: Footwear
Value: £130 million
Details: Authentic Brands Group has acquired American footwear brand, Sperry, from Wolverine World Wide (WWW) for a rumoured $130million. Sperry, a heritage brand operating for 90 years, specialises in boat shoes and loafers, and was previously sold to WWW in 2012 as part of a package including Keds, Saucony and Stride Rite, for c.$1.23billion. As part of this acquisition, Aldo Group has entered into a licence with Authentic Brands Group to become Sperry’s North American partner for operations and global footwear design, production and distribution. The sale will allow WWW to focus on and invest more into its ‘core’ brands, which include Sweaty Betty and Keds.

Date: January 2024
Buyer: Harry Styles
Target: S.S Daley
Business: Luxury Menswear
Value: Undisclosed
Details: Pop superstar Harry Styles has become a minority shareholder in the label S.S. Daley, following an investment of an undisclosed amount in January 2024. London-based Steven Stokey-Daley (the designer behind the label) won both the British Fashion Council Foundation Award for Best Emerging Designer, and the LVMH Prize for Young Designers, at the 2022 Fashion Awards, scooping a cool £400,000 prize money cash injection in the process, which he used to scale the business and move to a new design studio. Steven Stokey-Daley is known to be Harry’s go-to designer for music videos and photoshoots, after being introduced to the star by Harry’s stylist in 2020 and providing the ‘Floral Sebastian Trouser’ worn by Harry in his ‘Golden’ music video. The investment will help S.S. Daley to “grow its direct-to-consumer business” while it focuses on “brand longevity and scaling the business into a modern, British heritage house”.

Date: January 2024
Buyer: Secure Trust Bank Commercial Finance
Target: Ann Summers
Business: Lingerie retailer
Value: £8m
Details: Lingerie retailer Ann Summers has received a £8m asset-based lending facility from Secure Trust Bank Commercial Finance (STB), to finance its plans to grow its omnichannel marketing, selling and customer service offering. The facility comes as Ann Summers sets its sights on further growth and sales over the next few years, amid a 7% increase in its sales (to just under £100m) in its financial year to June 2022.

Date: January 2024
Buyer: Steven Bartlett
Target: Luxe Collective
Business: Luxury Fashion Re-sale
Value: £100k
Details: Steven Bartlett, of BBC’s Dragons’ Den, has invested £100,000 in Luxe Collective, a British luxury fashion resale platform, founded in Liverpool by brothers Ben and Joe Gallagher back in 2018. Similar to the likes of Vestiare Collective and Tradesy, Luxe Collective offers a platform for private sellers to sell pre-loved luxury items to buyers, once the items have been authenticated. Luxe Collective, which has amassed 2.2 million social media followers, is part of a growing trend which emphasises shopping pre-loved items as a means of combatting the ‘fast fashion’ model, and aiming for a more environmentally-friendly textile industry.

Date: December 2023
Buyer: Praetura Ventures
Target: HURR
Business: Fashion Rental
Value: £8m funding round
Details: Praetura Ventures has invested in HURR, a female-founded British luxury fashion rental platform, as part of a seed funding round. The investment now brings HURR’s fundraising total in this round to just under £8m, with funds Octopus Ventures (an investor in Depop) and Ascension also investing. Previously, HURR’s 2021 funding round closed at £5.4m. HURR’s platform includes over 130 brands and is not only a peer-to-peer rental platform, but also counts John Lewis, Mulberry and Net-a-Porter among its partners, providing them with their own fashion rental service platforms. HURR’s strategy is to “make the shift in fashion from ownership to access happen ASAP”.

Date: December 2023
Buyer: Coupang
Target: Farfetch
Business: Luxury Fashion Resale
Value: £400m
Details: South Korean e-commerce entity Coupang – known as South Korea’s own Amazon - has confirmed plans to acquire Farfetch under a pre-administration rescue deal, with the transaction to complete in early 2024. As part of the acquisition, US-listed Farfetch will have its shares de-listed, following 5 years on the New York Stock Exchange. While the total transaction value has not been disclosed, some reports suggest it could be as much as just under £4m and includes a $500m emergency funding injection into Farfetch, which was on the brink of insolvency. Despite this, Farfetch’s anticipated acquisition of a c.47% stake in Net-a-Porter has been terminated, owing to its financial difficulties. It is reported that Farfetch has over $1billion outstanding term loans and credit facilities.

Date: December 2023
Buyer: Frasers Group
Target: Matchesfashion
Business: Luxury Fashion
Value: £52m
Details: Frasers Group continues to expand its retail empire with the acquisition of Matches (formerly Matchesfashion), an online luxury retailer established in London over 30 years ago, from MF Intermediate Limited (a subsidiary of Apax Partners). Matches was previously acquired by Apax Partners 6 years ago for roughly £60m, therefore making a loss on the sale to Frasers, though the Matches business itself has suffered heavy losses in the last few years (reportedly a loss of up to £33m in2022). The acquisition comes as part of Frasers’ shift to its “elevation” strategy, focussing on brands at the higher end of the market like its other recent acquisitions, Flannels and Gieves & Hawkes, and its investment in Hugo Boss.

Date: October 2023
Buyer: Shein
Target: Missguided
Business: Women's Fashion
Value: Undisclosed
Details: Shein has acquired the IP and brand of Missguided from Frasers Group for an undisclosed sum. Frasers Group, having only acquired Missguided itself just over a year ago as part of a £20m administration sale, is set to retain Missguided’s staff and its real estate. Going forward, Shein will sell Misguided products through both the Missguided website and the Shein website. The deal marks Shein’s first British brand acquisition, but perhaps not its last, with the Frasers team saying that they “are excited about the ongoing discussion around further collaboration between Frasers Group and Shein.

Date: October 2023
Buyer: Next
Target: FatFace
Business: Lifestyle Fashion
Value: £115.2m
Details: Next has announced its plans to acquire FatFace, the lifestyle clothing brand, for £115m. FatFace began as a skiwear retailer in the 1980s and became very popular during the ‘BoHo’ and surfer fashion trends of the mid-2000s, expanding to over 200 stores across the UK and North America currently. Going forward, FatFace’s management will own a 3% stake in the business, while Next will acquire the remaining 97%. The acquisition comes after a period of strong financial results for FatFace, and the deal is rumoured to include the right for FatFace management to participate in a performance-related equity scheme. It is expected that FatFace’s existing board of directors will remain in place and retain control over the day to day running of the brand. Next has been a commercial partner of FatFace for some time, with its clothing being available sold in Next’s stores and on its website for several years.

Date: September 2023
Buyer: Reward Finance Group
Target: Start-Rite Shoes
Business: Children's Footwear
Value: Undisclosed
Details: Reward Finance Group, an asset-backed short-to-medium term Lender, known for providing lending solutions to SMEs across the UK, has provided a 7-figure investment in children’s footwear brand Start-Rite Shoes. To finance Start-Rite’s latest ‘back to school’ line, set to be “a more affordable range of shoes in the current economic climate”. Based in Norwich, Start-Rite is an established name in the field of children’s footwear (founded over 230 years ago, making it one of Britain’s oldest manufacturers), and counts John Lewis, Next and Very amongst its customers.

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