Natalie Massenet, founder and executive chairman of e-commerce fashion group Net-A-Porter (NAP) resigned on Wednesday ahead of its planned acquisition by Italy’s Yoox. Massenet, regarded as the fashion visionary of the soon-to-be-merged business, was to become its executive chairman and oversee its editorial content, one of NAP’s main strengths.
In a statement Yoox said that Massenet would not be a member of the merged group’s board. Industry insiders said the writing was on the wall as Massenet and Federico Marchetti, the head of YOOX who will lead the new company, had different personalities and were known for not getting on particularly well.
Richemont, which owns jewellers Cartier and Van Cleef & Arpels, agreed in March to sell NAP to Yoox in an all-share deal that valued NAP at the time at around 950 million pounds ($1.5 billion). Richemont was awarded 50 percent of the combined company’s share capital as part of the deal.
Since then, an independent arbiter gave NAP a much higher valuation which minority shareholders such as Massenet could use to argue their stake was worth more than what was agreed with Yoox.
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