Latest fashion industry deals

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: Next
Target: Reiss
Business: Women's fashion
Value: £128m
Details: Next has increased its shareholding in Reiss from 51% to 72%, after an acquisition by Next and the Reiss family of a 34% stake from private equity firm Warburg Pincus for £128m. Warburg Pincus has been a shareholder in Reiss for the last 7 years. The acquisition values Reiss at almost £400m - £376m - and means Next now hold 72% of the shares in Reiss, whilst the Reiss family hold 22%, and the company’s management team hold 6%. It is the latest in a series of High Street investments and acquisitions by Next, though marks a change from the distressed sellers and pre-pack acquisitions it has favoured of late.

Date: March 2023
Buyer: Next
Target: Cath Kidston (in administration)
Business: Floral Fashion
Value: £8.5 million
Details: Next has rescued the Cath Kidston brand in a pre-pack deal worth £8.5 million. The deal comes after the business fell into administration for the second time in years with approximately 125 jobs at risk as administrators set to close four UK Cath Kidston stores – in London, Ashford, Cheshire Oaks and York – once stock is sold off.

Date: December 2022
Buyer: Next
Target: Joules (in administration)
Business: Clothing & Footwear
Value: £41 million
Details: Collapsed fashion chain Joules has been rescued from administration by Next. The deal is thought to save about 100 shops and 1,450 jobs but will still see the closure of 19 stores. Next will continue to operate Joules’ website but will also sell Joules-branded clothing through its own e-commerce platform from 2024.

Date: September 2020
Buyer: Next Plc
Target: Victoria’s Secret
Business: High street fashion
Value: Not disclosed
Details: Next Plc acquired a majority stake (51%) in Victoria Secret’s UK business under a newly formed joint venture.




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