Apax agrees to buy majority stake in MATCHESFASHION.COM


Private equity firm Apax Partners has signed an agreement to acquire a majority stake in UK-based luxury fashion retailer MATCHESFASHION.COM.

The financial terms of the transaction have not been disclosed.

Through the acquisition, Apax intends to improve its position in the online luxury retail market.

Even after the transaction is closed, MATCHESFASHION.COM’s existing venture capital investors backers Scottish Equity Partners (SEP) and Highland Europe will continue to hold minority stakes in the business.

“Online penetration of the luxury market is still small and we anticipate this will grow significantly in the coming years."

MATCHESFASHION.COM founders Tom and Ruth Chapman will also retain minority stakes in the company.

MATCHESFASHION.COM chief executive Ulric Jerome said: “The management team and I are delighted to partner with Apax to continue to support Matchesfashion.com’s growth on a global scale and realise our potential to become the number one luxury fashion commerce company in the world.

“Apax’s experience in both consumer and technology spaces will be a great fit with our business and I look forward to working with them to strengthen our unique positioning.”

MATCHESFASHION.COM has five physical stores in London, with plans to expand its footprint next year with the opening of 5 Carlos Place, a retail property in Mayfair, which seeks to enrich the customer experience by combining digital and physical interactions.

Other fashion retail investments made by Apax include Tommy Hilfiger, Calvin Klein and Cole Haan.

Apax Partners partner Gabriele Cipparrone said: “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.”

Subject to certain closing conditions, the transaction is scheduled to complete in the fourth quarter of this year.