Farfetch sets price range for $5bn IPO

It feels like it’s been a long time coming but Farfetch has finally announced pricing details for its mega-IPO with news that it aims to raise around $600 million in an offering valuing the whole firm at around $5 billion.


Farfetch

The details are that it has begun an IPO of 37,503,501 Class A ordinary shares, 30,056,495 of which are being offered by Farfetch itself and 7,447,006 of which are being offered by certain selling shareholders. 

The underwriters of the offering will also have a 30-day option to purchase up to an additional 5,625,525 Class A ordinary shares from the company at the IPO price. And that price is? Well, it’s currently estimated to be between $15 and $17 per share. 

And the company also said that it has applied to list its Class A ordinary shares on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol FTCH.

A number of successful international (but much smaller) IPOs in recent periods have seen fashion firms proving reasonably popular, although their share prices have fluctuated strongly once they’re out there in the free market.

Will that happen to Farfetch? It’s hard to tell. The company is still lossmaking and the share price will be well above what earlier investors paid. It secured $397m from Chinese e-tail giant JD.com last year, valuing it at more than $1bn.

But assuming it all goes to plan, it would a testament to the success of founder José Neves' vision of a decade ago when he thought differently about luxury e-tail and instead of selling the products directly, acted as the intermediary between the customer and a raft of luxury boutiques globally.

The business model is an important one in an omnichannel world as it supports the continued existence of those independent boutiques and gives them access to a giant, sophisticated e-tail operation that they might not have otherwise had.

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