In what is said to be a landmark move in the digitalization of the luxury industry, fashion industry platform Farfetch has acquired a 47.5% stake in online luxury and fashion retailer YOOX Net-a-Porter (YNAP).
At the same time, investment vehicle Symphony Global will acquire a 3.2% stake in YNAP, according to a Wednesday (Aug. 24) press release.
Beyond that, the players announced in the release an agreement in which YNAP and luxury brands company Richemont, which sold those stakes in YNAP, will adopt Farfetch Platform Solutions.
“Today [Farfetch] and Richemont advanced significantly our Luxury New Retail vision for the digitization of Luxury,” Farfetch Founder, Chairman and CEO José Neves said in the release. “This significant partnership unequivocally establishes [Farfetch] as a pre-eminent global platform for luxury.”
The company will partner with Richemont to speed YNAP’s transformation into a hybrid business model, which may lead to a potential acquisition of YNAP by Farfetch, creating a complementary portfolio, Neves said in the release.
Richemont Chairman Johann Rupert said in the release that as a shareholder and partner, the company will help to develop the platform and help the luxury industry thrive in a digital economy.
“Today’s announcement is a significant step towards the realization of a dream I first voiced in 2015 of building an independent, neutral online platform for the luxury industry that would be highly attractive to both luxury brands and their discerning clientele,” Rupert said.
As PYMNTS reported in November, Richemont spent years trying to make a wholesale eCommerce model work through YOOX Net-a-Porter before entering into “advanced discussions” with Farfetch, which owns no inventory and instead provides a platform to brands and boutiques.
Richemont said at the time that the “ultimate objective” is to make YOOX Net-a-Porter “a neutral platform, with no controlling shareholders.”
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