Customers browse luxury products for sale inside a Cartier store. Richemont plans to introduce a model that has not been seen in listed companies with the departure of its chief executive. File Photo: Bloomberg
DURBAN - Swiss luxury group Riche­mont announced that it was expecting to pay almost 2.7billion (R40.05bn) for the remaining Yoox Net-a-Porter (Ynap) stake that it does not already own.

Richemont already owns a 49percent stake in Ynap and is offering 38 a share to Ynap shareholders, which represents a premium of 26percent based on Friday’s closing price.

Yoox Net-a-Porter is a Milan-listed luxury e-retailer. The offer is still subject to Yoox Net-a-Porter shareholders, but its chief executive, Federico Marchetti, is endorsing the deal.

Richemont chief executive Johann Rupert said yesterday that with this new step, the group intended to strengthen Richemont’s presence and focus on the digital channel, which was becoming critically important in meeting luxury consumers’ needs.

“We are very pleased with the results achieved by Yoox Net-a-Porter’s management team, led by Federico Marchetti, and we intend to support them going forward to execute their strategy and further accelerate the growth of the business,” Rupert said.


Richemont is expected to delist Yoox Net-a-Porter, but it would continue to act as a separate business with its own management team and ensuring it remains a neutral and highly attractive platform for third party luxury brands. Rupert added that Richemont is proud to have participated in the growth of Yoox Net-a-Porter since its infancy and in its process to become the world’s leading online luxury retailer.

“We see a meaningful opportunity to strengthen further Yoox Net-a-Porter’s leading positioning in luxury e-commerce, growing the business in existing and new geographies, increasing product availability and range and continuing to develop unparallelled services and content for today’s highly discerning consumers,” he said. Richemont owns international luxury brands such as A Lange & Söhne, Baume & Mercier, Cartier, Chloé, Dunhill, IWC Schaffhausen and Van Cleef & Arpels.

Marchetti said in the company’s website that Richemont aims to provide additional resources that further strengthen and accelerate Ynap’s long-term leadership in online luxury.

Richemont shares closed 1.93percent lower at R111.85 on the JSE yesterday.