Johann Rupert’s Richemont in talks with Prada and Farfetch to launch online retail platform

The 108-year-old Italian fashion house Prada is expected to join talks with Farfetch and South African billionaire Johann Rupert’s luxury goods manufacturer Compagnie Financiere Richemont over a tie-up that would see the companies launch a joint e-commerce platform.

According to Yahoo! Finance, the omni-platform would help the Italian luxury fashion group boost its online sales and grow overall revenues by 40 percent in line with its mid-term strategy.

The development comes a week after Richemont disclosed that it is in advanced talks to sell off a majority stake in the loss-making online retailer, Yoox Net-a-Porter (YNAP).

During the company’s earnings call, Farfetch CEO Jose Neves said the British-Portuguese fashion retailer is having negotiations with Rupert’s Richemont.

He told investors that no timing exists for the transaction, as there is no guarantee the deal will be finalized.

Prada’s Chief Marketing Officer Lorenzo Bertelli, the son of Prada heir Miuccia Prada, did not overrule the possibility that the platform will one day launch.

His comment comes at a time when Richemont is evaluating the possible outright sale of YNAP.

Richemont has found itself in difficult straits recently, as U.S. hedge fund Third Point Management pressured the company to reduce its exposure to loss-making subsidiaries, specifically YNAP, to improve its overall financial performance and valuation.

The fund and another long-time shareholder, Artisan Partners, believe the luxury goods group has a low valuation compared to competitors such as French luxury goods company LVMH.

As of press time, Nov. 19, shares in Fartech were down by more than 12 percent, while Prada’s stock gained 5.4 percent.

Richemont’s shares closed lower 1.7-percent lower than their opening price for the day, as a sell-off by bears in the market dominated buying pressure on the local bourse.

Mfonobong Nsehe
Mfonobong Nsehehttp://Billionaires.Africa
With over a decade of experience creating impactful narratives about Africa, Mfonobong Nsehe is one of the most recognized journalism and communications professionals on the continent. He is the editor-in-chief of Billionaires.Africa. A former Forbes Magazine contributor covering African wealth and entrepreneurship, Mfonobong conceptualized, initiated, and managed for a decade the Forbes annual ranking of Africa’s richest people. He was also the pioneer managing editor of Ventures Africa and built it into one of the continent’s most influential business news companies.

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