MatchesFashion has been purchased by private equity firm Apax Partners at a reported $1 billion, according to The Business of Fashion.
Founders of the lifestyle purveyor Tom and Ruth Chapman, as well as existing venture capital backers Scottish Equity Partners (SEP) and Highland Europe, will still hold a minority stake in the business.
“We are delighted that Apax Partners have taken a majority stake in the business,” says Tom Chapman, co-founder of MatchesFashion.com. “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.”
Started as a brick-and-mortar store in London’s Wimbledon in 1987, the couple stepped down as joint chief executives in 2015 to become joint chairmen. Today, MatchesFashion generates 95 percent of its revenue online, however, it now has four physical stores and a private shopping townhouse in London, with a multi-level flagship scheduled to open in Mayfair later this Fall.
Interestingly, MatchesFashion has grown quite well in the digital world, where other brands such as My-Wardrobe and Style.com have failed, as the success was attributed to its unique mix of established and upcoming designer brands, in addition to improved customer service where it has invested in a mobile point-of-sale app that aims to provide the company enhanced visibility as to how the consumer behaves, and allowing MatchesFashion to tailor the retail experience to each individual.
While terms of the transaction were not disclosed, the deal is expected to be complete sometime in Fall 2017.
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