Apax Partners has announced a definitive agreement to acquire a majority stake in storied luxury fashion retailer, MatchesFashion.com.
The financial terms of the deal were undisclosed.
MatchesFashion founders, Tom and Ruth Chapman, as well as its existing investors Scottish Equity Partners and Highland Europe, will retain 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,” Gabriele Cipparrone, partner at Apax Partners, said in a statement. “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.”
The Chapmans launched MatchesFashion in 1987 as a brick-and-mortar shop for luxury goods, and 30 years later it has since expanded as a global luxury shopping destination online and in-store offering a modern edit of over 450 established and emerging designers for men and women. Headquartered in The Shard, London, MatchesFashion.com currently employs over 500 people and delivers to 176 countries.
“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,” Tom said in a statement. “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.”
The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and is expected to close in Q4 2017.