Latest fashion industry deals

Date: May 2024
Buyer: Frasers Group
Target: Boohoo
Business: Women’s fashion e-tailer
Value: Undisclosed
Details: Frasers Group (owner of Sports Direct, Flannels, House of Fraser and Jack Wills), has again subscribed for shares in Boohoo, taking its current stake in the business from 22.08% (February 2024) to 23.10%. Since October 2023, Frasers Group has been the largest shareholder in Boohoo, and continues its strategy of increasing its shareholding incrementally every few months.

Date: April 2024
Buyer: Frasers Group
Target: Matches Fashion
Business: Women’s fashion retailer
Value: Undisclosed
Details: Frasers Group has purchased certain IP assets from Matches Fashion (“Matches”) out of administration for an undisclosed sum. Frasers acquired Matches from Apax Partners for £52million in December 2023, and subsequently placed Matches into administration in March 2024, appointing Teneo as the administrators. Currently, Matches’ administrators estimate that the business has £36million owed to unsecured creditors, which include many of the luxury brands stocked in Matches’ stores and website, and currently has over £80million worth of stock. Frasers’ acquisition is limited strictly to Matches’ IP (said to be intangible items, including the Matches trademark, domain names and databases of the Matches store), and does not include the stock or remaining employees, which remain under the administrators’ control.

Date: March 2024
Buyer: Frasers Group
Target: Aphrodite
Business: Menswear retailer
Value: Undisclosed
Details: Frasers Group has acquired Sunderland-based independent menswear retailer, Aphrodite, for an undisclosed amount. Aphrodite was founded in 1994, and counts Paul Smith, Barbour and Patagonia among the brands it stocks. This is the latest in a series of acquisitions of independent retailers by Fraser, who also acquired Zee & Co. (based in London and Essex) and John Anthony (based in Bournemouth) in December 2023, both of which stock multiple brads, like Aphrodite, and Flannels, purchased by Frasers in 2017.

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: June 2023
Buyer: Frasers Group
Target: ASOS
Business: Fashion retail
Value: c.£10m
Details: Frasers Group has increased its stake in ASOS to just under 9%, up from its previous shareholding of 7.8% in May, at a reported cost of around £10m. The move makes Frasers Group ASOS’ third-largest shareholder behind Bestseller (a Danish fashion group) and Camelot Capital (a US hedge fund). If Frasers Group’s shareholding passes the 10% threshold, they will be able to block a statutory compulsory purchase of ASOS following any takeover offers being made. This is notable given a Turkish company backed by Chinese e-retailer Alibaba has reportedly set its sights on ASOS.

Date: May 2023
Buyer: Frasers Group
Target: ASOS
Business: Fashion retail
Value: Undisclosed
Details: Frasers Group has increased its stake in ASOS to 7.4% up from its previous shareholding of around 5%. The Group previously increased its to 5% back in October 2022, when it became ASOS’ fourth largest shareholder.

Date: January 2023
Buyer: Frasers Group
Target: Hugo Boss
Business: Luxury fashion
Value: undisclosed
Details: Frasers Group has sold part of its shareholding in German fashion label Hugo Boss, now holding 3.9% of the share capital and put options over an additional 25%, for a combined value of £580m. Back in October 2022, Frasers Group acquired put options representing 28.5% of Hugo Boss’ share capital which, along with its 4.3% stake of issued shares, took its combined shareholding in the German brand to 32.8%, worth £770m. By November, these put options increased to 30.3%, making Fraser Group’s combined interests in Hugo Boss worth £840m.

Date: October 2022
Buyer: Frasers Group
Target: Base Childrenswear, Choice, Clothingsites (including Brown Bag Clothing), Cricket, Giulio, Kids Cavern, Missy Empire, Nicholas Deakins, Pretty Green, Prevu Studio, Rascal Clothing, Tessuti (including Xile), Scotts, Watch Shop and Topgrade Sportswear (including Get The Label).
Business: Luxury clothing
Value: £47.5 million
Details: In a surprise turn of events, JD sports has sold 15 of its “non core” fashion businesses which includes the luxury boutiques Gioulio and Cricket to its former rival Frasers Group. The sale of Cricket, Tessuti Scotts, Giulio, Choice, Rascal Clothing and Topgrade Sportswear (including Get The Label) are expected to complete in early 2023 whilst the sale of the other businesses were completed on exchange of contracts.

Date: October 2022
Buyer: Frasers Group
Target: Hugo Boss, ASOS
Business: Fashion clothing
Value: See below
Details: Fraser Group has increased its stake in two household names as it looks to continue its foray into higher-end fashion. With regards to Hugo Boss, Fraser Group increased their stake to 32.8% (approximately worth EUR 960m), while its stake in ASOS rose to 5.1% (making the Group the fourth largest shareholder).

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