Since its inception in 1987, high-end London retailer MATCHESFASHION has built up a reputation as one of its country’s premier purveyors of luxury fashion. Now, after 30 years of independent operation, the company has been purchased by private equity firm Apax Partners.
A victor in a heated bidding war that including Bain Capital, Permira and KKR, Apax Partners acquired MATCHESFASHION for a stunning $1 billion USD price tag. The retailer’s current venture capital supporters Highland Europe and Scottish Equity Partners and founders Tom and Ruth Chapman will hold onto minority stakes in the company. Specific details regarding the deal’s exact terms have yet to be made public, but expect this entire transaction to conclude in the fourth quarter of this year.
In a statement, co-founder Tom Chapman said:
“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.”
Apax Partners partner Gabriele Cipparrone also had this to say regarding her company’s acquisition:
“We are delighted to have the opportunity to work with what 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.”
As of right now, MATCHESFASHION enjoys four brick-and-mortar locations and an exclusive, private “shopping townhouse” in its city of origin, London. Like many other like-minded luxury fashion retailers, it earns most of its revenue through online sales; 95% of its generated revenue comes from the official web store.
Earlier this year, the company also launched an exclusive AMI collection.