Luxury watches displayed at the Richemont Montblanc store in Beijing. Photo: Bloomberg
JOHANNESBURG - Swiss luxury group Richemont yesterday announced it had delisted Yoox Net-A-Porter (YNAP) ordinary shares from the Milan Stock Exchange with immediate effect to complete its takeover of the online fashion retailer.

The delisting comes after Richemont made a public tender offer to buy shares in YNAP it did not already own.

Richemont said it acquired YNAP to build on the company’s solid track record of growth.

Federico Marchetti, chief executive of YNAP, said Richemont would provide additional resources to strengthen YNAP’s long-term leadership in online luxury.

“This means investing even more in product, technology, logistics, people and marketing,” he said.

The acquired shares give Richemont nearly 50percent of YNAP.

They also represent almost 26percent premium over its closing price on the Milan Stock Exchange of e30.26 (R478) a share in January in a deal that was said to be worth e2.7billion to value YNAP at e5bn.

Johann Rupert, Richemont’s billionaire chairperson, said at the time that the YNAP deal would strengthen the group's presence and focus on the digital channel, which was becoming critically important in meeting luxury consumers’ needs.

In 2015, Yoox combined with Net-a-Porter to create a single group, Yoox Net-a-Porter, and the group did not look back as it grew from strength to strength.

Transaction

At the beginning of the month, Richemont also reached agreement to acquire 100percent of the share capital of Watchfinder.co.uk (Watchfinder), the leading online pre-owned premium watch specialist, in a private transaction with its shareholders, for an undisclosed amount.

The group said the transaction was expected to be concluded this year and would have no material impact on its consolidated net assets or operating result for the year to end-March 2019.

The group owns a portfolio of leading international Maisons and it operates in three segments: Jewellery Maisons, which are Cartier, Van Cleef and Arpels and Giampiero Bodino; Specialist Watchmakers with brands such as A Lange and Söhne, Baume and Mercier; as well as watch component manufacturing activities.

In the year to end-March, Richemont reported sales of e10.98bn and operating profit of e1.84bn as well as profit of e1.22bn.

Richemont has a primary listing on the Six Swiss Exchange and a secondary listing on the JSE.

- BUSINESS REPORT