Richemont swoops to take full control of £4.7bn Yoox Net-a-Porter

Joanna Bourke
Online luxury fashion retailer Yoox Net-a-Porter was born from the merger of Italy’s Yoox and Richemont’s Net-a-Porter in 2015

Luxury goods powerhouse Richemont on Monday swooped to buy the remaining half of Yoox Net-a-Porter it does not already own, valuing the online fashion business at €5.3 billion (£4.7 billion) and giving the founder a €200 million payday.

Cartier parent Richemont’s €38 a share offer — a €2.7 billion deal — represents a premium of 26% compared with Friday’s close.

The Milan-listed upmarket retailer was born from the merger of Italy’s Yoox and Richemont’s Net-a-Porter in 2015. The latter, which stocks labels such as Burberry and Prada, was managed by founder Dame Natalie Massenet until she departed shortly after the Yoox deal.

Federico Marchetti, the group’s chief executive who founded Yoox in 1999 in Italy, will sell his 3.9% stake for around €200 million.

The 48-year-old, who splits his time between homes in Milan and London, will remain as boss.

Richemont already owns 49% of the business and wants to increase that to at least 90%. Other shareholders include Schroders.

Its move could bat off competition, with some analysts last year saying the business could be targeted by Chinese online behemoth Alibaba or rival retailers.

RBC analysts said a there is a possibility for a counter-offer.

Johann Rupert, Richemont’s chairman, said it sees a “meaningful opportunity” to grow the firm.

Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Mediobanca are advising Yoox, while Goldman Sachs is acting for Richemont.