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Frasers puts Matches into administration

Image © Matches

Frasers Group is set to appoint restructuring firm Teneo as administrator for luxury fashion retailer Matches, only three months after buying it for £52mn.

In December 2023, Mike Ashley’s group took control of Matches from Apax Partners – which had previously injected £600mn into the luxury retailer. The deal also included refinancing roughly £20mn in debt owed by Matches, which also drew tentative takeover interest from Next.

The acquisition was part of Frasers wider move into the luxury space. But brands began to sever ties with Matches as some of them have not received payments for months, according to reports.

Frasers explained that since the acquisition Matches has missed its business plan targets and continued to make material losses.

“Whilst Matches’ management team has tried to find a way to stabilise the business, it has become clear that too much change would be required to restructure it,” a statement from Frasers said.

“In light of this, Frasers has been informed that the directors of Matches have taken the decision to put the Matches group into administration. Frasers remains committed to the luxury market and its brand partners.”

Matches becomes the latest luxury fashion ecommerce firm to struggle post-pandemic. At the end of 2023, luxury fashion marketplace Farfetch was bought by Seoul-based ecommerce firm Coupang, with $500mn (£395mn) in emergency funding provided to save it from bankruptcy.

Learn more about how inflation is affecting the behaviour of consumers and why the luxury sector is still highly reliant on physical retail in the RetailX Europe Luxury 2023 report. Down the report for 38 pages of market-leading research into the European Luxury Sector, including nine company profiles on the likes of Fendi, Louis Vuitton, Ray-Ban, Pandora and Vivienne Westwood.

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