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Frasers to pay £50mn for Matches, reports suggest

Image © Matches

Frasers Group is set to acquire luxury fashion retailer Matches for just over £50mn, with details of the deal expected to be published later today [Wednesday 20 December 2023].

According to Sky News, Mike Ashley’s group will take control of Matches from Apax Partners – which had previously injected £600mn into the luxury retailer.

The deal will also include refinancing roughly £20mn in debt owed by Matches, which also drew tentative takeover interest from Next.

As part of InternetRetailing’s review of 2023, we looked at how Frasers – and Next – has raised its stakes in or acquired other retailers this year.

At the end of 2022, the owner of Sports Direct – agreed to buy 15 fashion brands from rival JD Sports. This deal included Liam Gallagher’s Pretty Green and 1980s brand Tessuti, and was estimated to be worth £47.5mn. Concluded in March this year, the deal saw Frasers take control of Topgrade Sportswear, including Get The Label.

Ashley’s group has also spent 2023 upping its stakes in fast fashion. In October, Frasers raised its shares in Asos to 23%, it has also previously increased its shares in rival Boohoo to 15.1%

The group is also interested in white goods, in June Frasers acquired a 9% stake in electrical retailer Currys. This followed an increase in its stake in online electrical retailer AO World, from 19% to 21%.

Adding a little luxury to its offering, Frasers also has a 37% stake in accessories brand Mulberry. In May, it sought representation on the board. According to reports, Frasers wanted clarity from Mulberry on its operations in Asia. Mulberry is majority owned (56%) by Singapore’s Challice Group, which has backed the brand for more than 20 years.

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