Luxury giant completes buy up of web fashion retailer

2nd June 2010, Comments 0 comments

Global luxury goods giant Richemont said on Wednesday that it had completed the acquisition of a pioneering 10-year-old web-based women's fashion retailer, Net-a-porter.

"As a consequence, Richemont will hold an effective economic interest of more than 93 per cent in the issued ordinary capital of Net-a-porter," the Swiss-based group said in a statement.

The business, which employs 600 staff in London and New York, was created by former fashion journalist Natalie Massenet and recently racked up its one millionth order, according to Richemont.

The luxury group had previously owned about one third of the web retailer, which had annual turnover for the financial year to the end January of 120 million pounds.

Richemont did not reveal the cost of the acquisition of the remaining shares, but it had valued Net-a-porter's equity at 350 million pounds (525 million dollars, 390 million euros) in April.

Net-a-porter, which sells more than 300 women's designer brands, will operate as an independent entity alongside Richemont's other standalone businesses such as Cartier, Dunhill, IWC, Piaget and Van Cleef & Arpels.

Massenet reportedly had an 18-percent stake in the website and stands to make a substantial profit on her holding, estimated in some media reports at 50 million pounds.

She vowed in April to "build the 21st century model for luxury fashion retailing" along with Richemont.

© 2010 AFP

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