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Net-a-Porter screen shot

After much speculation Richemont announced today that it has entered into a binding, conditional agreement to merge the operations of its subsidiary, The Net-A-Porter Group, with YOOX S.p.A. (“YOOX” or “YOOX Group”) in an all-share transaction.

Upon completion of the transaction, the combined entity will be renamed ‘YOOX Net-A-Porter Group’, will continue to be incorporated in Italy and listed on Borsa Italiana. Natalie Massenet, Founder and Executive Chairman of The Net-A-Porter Group, will serve as Executive Chairman and Federico Marchetti, Founder and CEO of YOOX Group, will be CEO of the combined entity.

Following completion, YOOX Net-A-Porter Group is expected to launch a capital increase of up to € 200 million to fund future growth opportunities and allow for the entry of strategic investors. Richemont is expected to participate in this capital increase.

 Johann Rupert, Chairman of Richemont said:

“Richemont has been a pioneer in luxury e-commerce, first as a minority shareholder of Net-A-Porter in its infancy and then as a controlling shareholder since 2010. We are proud of Net-A-Porter’s achievements under the leadership of Natalie Massenet, ably assisted by a wonderful team of professionals.

Established business models are being increasingly disrupted by the technological giants. It is with this in mind that we believe it is important to increase leadership and size to protect the uniqueness of the luxury industry. The merger of the two leaders will further enhance an independent, neutral platform for a sophisticated clientele looking for luxury brands.”