Luxury fashion company Richemont has made a bid to acquire online retailer Yoox Net-A-Porter Group.
Swiss-based Richemont – which owns high-end brands such as Cartier, Montblanc and Dunhill London – already has a stake in the YNAP Group but it has made a public tender offer to buy the shares it does not own for €38 (£33.5) per share.
The takeover bid, which is estimated to be worth €2.8 billion (£2.4 billion), would only go ahead once it is approved by YNAP Group shareholders.
YNAP chief executive Federico Marchetti has indicated he would support the deal, and said that Richemont’s rationale for the investment is to build on YNAP’s “solid track record of growth”
“Richemont aims to provide additional resources that further strengthen and accelerate YNAP’s long-term leadership in online luxury,” he said.
“This means investing even more in product, technology, logistics, people and marketing.”
Marchetti added that YNAP would continue to be managed as a separate company, “providing a neutral and highly attractive platform” for luxury brands.
Richemont was instrumental in merging UK-based Net-A-Porter with Italian rival Yoox almost three years ago.
The luxury fashion company is also not the first to double down on its commitment to ecommerce. Last year, its archrival LVMH – the French parent company of Louis Vuitton, Dior, Marc Jacobs and Bulgari – launched 24 Sevres online in 70 markets worldwide, offering products from more than 150 luxury brands.
Richemont’s bid for YNAP also comes just days after the online fashion retailer revealed net revenues topped €2 billion for the first time in its preliminary full-year results for 2017.
“We are very pleased with the results achieved by YNAP Group’s management team, led by Mr Federico Marchetti, and we intend to support them going forward to execute their strategy and further accelerate the growth of the business,” Richemont chairman Johann Rupert said.
“Thanks to our long-term commitment and resources, we see a meaningful opportunity to strengthen further YNAP Group’s leading positioning in luxury ecommerce, growing the business in existing and new geographies, increasing product availability and range, and continuing to develop unparalleled services and content for today’s highly discerning consumers.”