Monday, April 5, 2010

Richemont Purchases Net-A-Porter for $341 Million

Natalie Massanet
(Photo: The Wall Street Journal/Reuters)

WWD reports Richemont has purchased the remaining 67 percent of, becoming the majority shareholder of the high fashion e-tailer, and thus increasing its presence in the world of e-commerce. 

The Swiss luxury goods group, which already owned 33 percent of Net-a-Porter, purchased the company from a group of private shareholders for approximately 225 million pounds, or $341 million  The Wall Street Journal reports. The deal values the internet business at 350 million pounds, or $532 million. Natalie Massanet, who founded Net-a-Porter, is stand to gain 50 million pounds, or $76 million from the sale of her company, and will stay on as executive chairman, according to WWD

For years, luxury companies have been apprehensive about entering e-commerce, siting concerns that easy access to luxury brands would ruin their prestigious image, and turnoff their high-end clientele. Then along came Ms. Massanet, who proved that with the right combo of retail and editorial, people are willing to purchase expensive goods online. This "luxury marriage" will allow Richemont to benefit from Net-a-Porter's e-tailing innovation as they venture into e-commerce with their Cartier brand, while Net-a-Porter will be able to tap into the emerging luxury market in Asia via Richemont's commercial presence in the region.

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