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Net-A-Porter merges with Yoox to form global luxury retailer

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Net-A-Porter merges with Yoox to form global luxury retailer
Net-A-Porter merges with Yoox to form global luxury retailer
Net-A-Porter is to merge with Yoox to form a €1.3bn turnover online luxury fashion retailer.

The deal, billed as a "transformational merger", promises to create a combined business with a worldwide presence in the luxury market. Yoox is an Italian online fashion business, while Net a Porter, founded in the UK by Natalie Massenet, is currently owned by the French-based Richemont group. Massenet will serve as executive chairman of the Yoox Net-A-Porter Group, while Federico Marchetti, founder of Yoox Group, will take the role of chief executive.

“Today, we open the doors to the world’s biggest luxury fashion store," said Massenet. "It is a store that never closes, a store without geographical borders, a store that connects with, inspires, serves and offers millions of style-conscious global consumers access to the finest designer labels in fashion.

"A store that provides established and emerging brands with the greatest interactive shop

window to the world. Together, with our world-class teams in technology, logistics, content and commerce we are redefining the fashion media and retail landscape. The best way to predict the future of fashion is to create it.”

Federico Marchetti, founder of YOOX Group and chief executive of the YOOX Net-A-Porter Group, said: "This is a game-changing merger between two pioneering companies that have already radically transformed the marketplace since 2000 and will now shift the industry paradigm once again.

"Together, we plan to expand on our many combined successes and industry breadth to strengthen partnerships with the world's leading luxury brands and harness a significant untapped growth potential.”

The merged business expects to save around €60m in "synergies" and, as a listed business on the Italian stockmarket, to raise €200m in capital to integrate the businesses, fund future growth and potentially allow new investors to put their money into the business.

Richemont will own 50% of the new business, expected to be created, subject to shareholder approval, in September 2015. It will, however, have only 25% of control over the business, in order to give it freedom as a standalone company.

Johann Rupert, chairman of Richemont, said: “Richemont has been a pioneer in luxury ecommerce, first as a minority shareholder of Net-A-Porter in its infancy and then as a controlling shareholder since 2010. We are proud of Net-A-Porter’s achievements under the leadership of Natalie Massenet, ably assisted by a wonderful team of professionals. Established business models are being increasingly disrupted by the technological giants.

"It is with this in mind that we believe it is important to increase leadership and size to protect the uniqueness of the luxury industry. The merger of the two leaders will further enhance an independent, neutral platform for a sophisticated clientele looking for luxury brands.”

The new business will trade through six 'storefronts': net-a-porter.com, mrporter.com, theoutnet.com, yoox.com, shoescribe and thecorner.com. Between them, they see 24m monthly unique visitors, including 2m high-spenders, from more than 180 countries.
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