Next acquires rival FatFace for £115m
High street giant Next has acquired British lifestyle retailer FatFace from its lenders for £115.2m.
The deal is expected to completed in the next few weeks whereafter Next will hold 97% of the equity and FatFace’s management will hold 3% of the business.
Next said FatFace will retain its management autonomy and creative independence and continue to be based in Havant, Hampshire.
FatFace has been sold on Next’s branded online platform Label since 2016 and it is expected to migrate its online operations onto Next’s Total Platform within the next 12 months.
FatFace is currently owned by a consortium of banks and debt funds – including Alcentra, Goldman Sachs, HIG and Lloyds – which took over in a debt-for-equity swap in 2020.
FatFace is the latest high street retailer to be acquired by Next, which also owns Cath Kidston, JoJo Maman Bebe, Joules and on 1 September upped its stake in premium high street retailer Reiss to 72%.
Will Crumbie, who joined FatFace as CFO in 2014 and became CEO in 2021, will continue to lead the business.
Will Crumbie said: “This acquisition by Next today is an important next step in FatFace’s journey. Having worked together for some time as a commercial partner, Next has recognised the strong foundations – and importantly – future potential for FatFace.
“The acquisition is testament to the hard work of our FatFace colleagues who have all done a terrific job of leading the business through the pandemic; building on the brand’s strong heritage, quality product and fantastic customer service to emerge even stronger in recent years. We have great momentum. This is about helping us reach more customers – whether that be in the UK or internationally – and becoming a part of the Next family, with the backing of their Total Platform infrastructure, will help us achieve this.”
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