Matchesfashion in £600m sale talks as buyers circle

Matchesfashion.com is being eyed by a clutch of private equity firms, which could value the fashion retailer at £600m.

Buyout firms including Apax Partners, KKR, Permira and Bain Capital are among the suitors that could table bids for the luxury fashion retailer, according to Sky News.

If the retailer were to accept a bid of £600m, its founders, majority shareholders and husband-and-wife team Tom and Ruth Chapman could receive a windfall of over £300m.

Sources close to the situation said the duo could opt to retain a significant stake in the company or only offer a minority stake for sale – although the firms considering a bid are said to expect a majority stake in the business for the investment.

Matchesfashion’s minority shareholders, Scottish Equity Partners and Highland Capital, cumulatively own 30% of the business.

The fashion retailer, which was first reported to be exploring a sale option last month, makes the majority of its sales online.

The business also has three London stores and launched a 90-minute delivery service for shoppers in the capital last year.

Matchesfashion, which sells goods from labels such as Burberry and Gucci, is creating 150 jobs at a new tech and design studio in East London.

The retailer has agreed a lease on a 24,000 sq ft site at Here East, in Stratford for the studio.

Matchesfashion plans to build 20 photography bays and video sets, which will produce website content for more than 2,000 products a week, almost doubling its current capabilities.

The firm’s boss Ulric Jerome said: “Story telling is such an important part of what we do and how we engage with our customer and service our brand partners through elevated content creation – we are renowned for the content we produce in house and the seamless integration with commerce.

“This move to Here East, and our investment in a new creative hub, will help us to achieve our plans to generate even more innovative and engaging content for our brands and our customer.”

Read the full article here