Richemont makes €2.8bn bid to acquire Yoox Net-A-Porter Group

Richemont YNAP

Richemont is the owner of luxury brands Cartier, IWC and Dunhill.

Still warm after its major watch and jewelry industry trade show, SIHH 2018, the Richemont Group just announced what appears to be an indication that it will be moving to take back full control of the Net-A-Porter Group.

Marchetti, expected to stay in charge after YNAP's delisting according to the Richemont deal, said the transaction would bring additional resources from the Swiss company.

Luxury goods maker Richemont has today offered up to €2.8 billion to buy the shares in Yoox Net-A-Porter that it does not already own, in a deal aimed at boosting the Swiss company's online presence. Net-A-Porter went on to grow and in 2010 the Richemont Group increased its position in Net-A-Porter by purchasing 93% of the company.

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"Given the lack of interesting acquisition targets up for sale in their core business of hard luxury, Richemont has chose to put at work its big cash pile investing into distribution channels", said Mario Ortelli, an analyst at Bernstein in London. "As part of our group, YNAP Group would continue to operate as a separate business, ensuring it remains a neutral and highly attractive platform for third party luxury brands".

Marchetti founded Yoox in 2000, and the business then merged with Net-a-Porter in 2015. Numerous questions as to why Net-A-Porter was sold for a relatively low price as part of a "secret deal" may now be emerging as it appears that Richemont will retake control of Net-A-Porter in the near future.

Richemont chairman Johann Rupert said the group was proud to have participated in the growth of Net-a-Porter since its infancy and played a role in the creation of YNAP. Richemont's statement also said that: "an irrevocable undertaking to accept the offer in respect of all of his shares has been received from Mr Federico Marchetti".

Richemont, who like many peers in the luxury industry has been slow in pushing online sales, offered €38 per share for YNAP, an nearly 26 per cent premium to the e-commerce portal's closing price on Friday. Yoox Net-a-Porter's headquarters would remain in Italy.

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