Apax IX agrees to acquire MATCHESFASHION.COM
The Apax IX Fund (“Apax IX”) has today announced that it has reached a definitive agreement to acquire a majority stake in MATCHESFASHION.COM, a leading digitally innovative global luxury-fashion brand.
Founded in 1987 by Tom and Ruth Chapman MATCHESFASHION.COM is today a global luxury-shopping destination for men and women offering a modern edit of over 450 established and emerging designers, and delivering to 176 countries. The company is one of the leading players in the online luxury space globally thanks to its long-standing relationships with highly selective brands; ability to curate attractive fashion ranges; and the technology and fulfilment infrastructure necessary to deliver excellent customer service.
AGA, whose shares are listed on the London Stock Exchange, provides investors with access to the investment expertise of Apax Partners through its investments in a diversified portfolio of private equity funds advised by Apax Partners as well as derived investments in debt and equity. In May 2016, AGA committed $350m to Apax IX.
Apax Funds to acquire MATCHESFASHION.COM
Buyout firm partners with leading global luxury-fashion brand
Funds advised by Apax Partners (“Apax Funds”) have today announced a definitive agreement to acquire a majority stake in MATCHESFASHION.COM, a leading digitally innovative global luxury-fashion brand. The founders, Tom and Ruth Chapman, as well as existing venture capital backers Scottish Equity Partners (SEP) and Highland Europe, will retain minority stakes in the business. The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and is expected to close in Q4 2017. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Founded in 1987 by Tom and Ruth Chapman MATCHESFASHION.COM is today a global luxury-shopping destination for men and women offering a modern edit of over 450 established and emerging designers, and delivering to 176 countries. Headquartered in The Shard, London, MATCHESFASHION.COM employs over 500 people.
Tom and Ruth Chapman, founders of MATCHESFASHION.COM, said: “MATCHESFASHION.COM has redefined the face of luxury commerce and become renowned globally for having the fashion point of view. The business has never been in a stronger position and we want to thank our loyal customers, the exceptional brands and the brilliant people who we are fortunate enough to work with. They inspire us every day to be better.
“We are delighted that Apax Partners have taken a majority stake in the business. After 30 years of growing this business Ruth and I are ready to take on new challenges while remaining shareholders and taking on an advisory role. Our world class team led by CEO, Ulric Jerome and CFO, Fiona Greiner will continue to drive MATCHESFASHION.COM to becoming the number one luxury fashion commerce company in the world.”
Ulric Jerome, chief executive of MATCHESFASHION.COM, commented: “The management team and I are delighted to partner with Apax to continue to support MATCHESFASHION.COM’s growth on a global scale and realise our potential to become the number one luxury fashion commerce company in the world. Apax’s experience in both consumer and technology spaces will be a great fit with our business and I look forward to working with them to strengthen our unique positioning.
“It is very important that, on behalf of everyone in the MATCHESFASHION.COM family, I recognise the incredible vision and work of our founders, Tom and Ruth. Over 30 years they have created an exceptional brand, renowned and recognised globally and respected by the industry. They gave this business its DNA and we will carry that forward.”
Gabriele Cipparrone, a partner at Apax Partners, said: “We are delighted to have the opportunity to work with MATCHESFASHION.COM, which has emerged as one of the leading players in the online luxury space globally. Tom and Ruth, along with Ulric and his management team, have done a tremendous job in expanding the business in a sector that continues to demonstrate huge growth potential. Online penetration of the luxury market is still small and we anticipate this will grow significantly in the coming years. MATCHESFASHION.COM, with its distinctive assortment, unique voice, and unparalleled customer service, is ideally placed to attract and encourage this growth in the online luxury market.”
Qatalyst Partners is acting as exclusive financial advisor to MATCHESFASHION.COM and White & Black Limited is acting as legal advisor.
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About Apax Global Alpha Limited
AGA is a Guernsey registered closed-ended collective investment scheme incorporated as a non-cellular company that listed on the London Stock Exchange on 15 June 2015. It is regulated by the Guernsey Financial Services Commission.
AGA’s objective is to provide shareholders with capital appreciation from its investment portfolio and regular dividends. The Company is targeting an annualised Total Return, across economic cycles, of 12-15% (net of fees and expenses) including a dividend yield of 5% of Net Asset Value (NAV).
The investment policy of the Company is to make private equity investments in Apax Funds and Derived Investments which are investments in equities and debt derived from the insights gained via Apax Partners’ Private Equity activities. The Company’s portfolio is expected to be allocated in approximately equal proportions between Private Equity and Derived Investments, although the investment mix will fluctuate over time due to market conditions, investment opportunities, cash flow requirements, the dividend policy and other factors.
Further information regarding the Company and its publications are available on the Company’s website at www.apaxglobalalpha.com.
About Apax Partners LLP
Apax Partners is a leading global private equity advisory firm. It operates globally and has more than 30 years of investing experience. Apax Partners has advised funds that total over €40 billion in aggregate as at 30 June 2017*. Funds advised by Apax Partners invest in companies across four global sectors of Tech & Telco, Services, Healthcare and Consumer. These funds provide long_term equity financing to build and strengthen world_class companies. For further information about Apax Partners, please visit www.apax.com.
Apax Partners is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority in the UK.
* Funds raised since 1981, commitments converted from fund currency to EUR at FX rates as at June 2017