Next confirms buyout of FatFace in £115m deal

Next has bought British lifestyle and clothing brand FatFace for £115.2 million.

The retailer said that following the transaction, which will complete over the next few weeks, it will hold 97 per cent of the equity, while FatFace’s management will own three per cent.

FatFace, which has been selling its products on since 2016, is to keep its board of directors and will continue to be based out of Havant, Hampshire, UK.

FatFace, which is also expected to continue trading and developing its own retail store portfolio, is expected to migrate its online operations onto Next’s Total Platform over the next year.

The move follows a period of strong trading for FatFace, with the company recording total sales of £282 million over the 52 weeks to 27 May 2023.

During the financial year, pre-tax profits reached £19.5 million.

Will Crumbie, who joined FatFace as chief financial officer in 2014 and became chief executive in 2021, will continue to lead the business.

FatFace, which currently has around 180 stores across the UK and Ireland, joins a growing list of recent company buyouts by Next.

Next acquired British retailer Cath Kidston for around £8.5 million earlier this year after it fell into administration for the second time in two years.

In late 2022, Next acquired fashion brand Joules and the IP of online homeware retailer after their respective collapses.

In June, reports suggested that Next could be planning to sell Reiss at a valuation of more than £500 million.

However, last month Next increased its stake in the company to 72 per cent as part of a £178 million deal.

Next took a 25 per cent stake in Reiss from private equity firm Warburg Pincus in 2021 before choosing to increase it to 51 per cent and become the fashion brand’s majority stakeholder last year under pre-agreed terms.

In August, Next announced a sales increase in the second quarter of almost seven per cent compared to the same period of 2022.

As a result, Next upped its full year pre-tax profit guidance by £10 million to £845 million.

In the 13 weeks to the end of July, online sales rose by ten per cent compared to last year, while in-store sales increased by around two per cent.

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