Boohoo said today that it has bought the final third of PrettyLittleThing that it did not already own and that it will continue to develop it into an international fashion brand. The move chimes with its own group ambition to lead the global ecommerce fashion market through a multi-brand approach that also includes the Karen Millen and Coast brands.
The Boohoo Group has paid £269.8m to buy the 34% stake from minority shareholders Umar Kamani and Paul Papworth. The figure could rise to £323.8m in total, depending on share price performance.
Boohoo says PrettyLittleThing has grown strongly since it bought a 66% stake in 2017. In the year to February 29 2020 it generated £516m of net sales, compared to £55m in the year to February 28 2017, while its pre-tax profits came in at £45.2m. The senior management team, which includes Kumani and Papworth, will stay in place with a brief to develop PrettyLittleThing into a global brand.
Umar Kamani, founder and chief executive of PrettyLittleThing, said: ”This deal represents another milestone in our journey at PLT. Since being a disruptive start-up in 2012 to a global fashion brand that generates over half a billion pounds in sales today, I am incredibly proud of what my team and I have achieved in such a short period of time. The team and myself have big ambitions for the brand, and I’m incredibly excited about what the future holds for PLT as it embarks on the next stage of its global journey as a fully-owned part of the boohoo group.”
John Lyttle, Boohoo Group chief executive, said: "We are delighted to be acquiring the remaining 34% stake in PLT. It has been a brand that has delivered strong growth as part of the boohoo group’s platform, and has a great future ahead of it in the UK and overseas. I look forward to building on the great working relationship with Umar and the senior team at PLT as the Group continues to move forwards with its multi-brand strategy as part of its vision to lead the fashion ecommerce market globally."
The Boohoo group recently raised almost £200m in equity to spend on acquisition opportunities in fashion around the world.
Today Boohoo said that after this acquisition, financed through a combination of new Boohoo shares and cash, it will be able to “successfully disrupt the international markets it operates in today, whilst retaining a strong balance sheet in order to take advantage of numerous M&A opportunities that are likely to emerge in the global fashion industry over the coming months."
Image: screenshot of prettylittlething.com