Matchesfashion bids due soon but will founders sell control?

Is Matchesfashion set to be the latest business snapped up by an investment fund? Rumours have been swirling around the luxury e-tailer for some months but now it seems that the firm really in in talks with a number of investors about a takeover.


Matchesfashion


Sky News reported that Apax Partners, KKR, Permira and Bain Capital are among the potential new owners with bid likely to be tabled by the time the next round  of catwalks starts with a purchase price of around £600 million for the 30-year-old business.

That would mean founders Tom and Ruth Chapman pocketing a £300 million-plus windfall as they still own a controlling stake…. or at least it would if they sell out completely. It’s unclear just how much of the company will be sold. Sources have said the Chapmans might prefer to sell only a minority stake or at least choose to retain a significant holding after the sale. But it’s also believed that the private equity groups bidding would want control of the firm.

Other minority shareholders include Scottish Equity Partners and Highland Capital, which paid £32 million for their stakes in 2012.

The company published its financial results for the first time this year and said that in the year to January its sales rose 61% to £204 million and earnings on an Ebitda basis rose more than sixfold to £19 million. Any buyout though would be made on the current year’s figures and they’re likely to be even higher.

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