Fashion Updates | Lifestyle & Travel

Next to Acquire Lifestyle Brand FatFace in £100 Million Deal

Published: October 12, 2023
Author: Fashion Value Chain

The well-known high street fashion chain, Next, is reportedly in the final stages of negotiations to
acquire the lifestyle brand, FatFace, in a deal said to be worth more than £100 million. FatFace,
recognized for its wide range of clothing, footwear, and accessories, may soon see an official
announcement of its acquisition by Next, with the deal possibly being confirmed by the end of the
week. This move further solidifies Next’s position as one of the most active buyers of fellow high
street brands in the UK. The company has already acquired several brands, including Cath Kidston,
Made.com, and JoJo Maman Bébé, particularly during the disruptions caused by the COVID-19
pandemic.

Founded in 1988 by friends Tim Slade and Jules Leaver, FatFace has grown into a brand with more
than 180 stores in the UK and 20 in the US. Over the years, the ownership of FatFace has changed
hands, with various private equity firms involved in its journey. The brand’s debts were significantly
reduced in 2020 through a debt-for-equity swap, making it better positioned to navigate the
challenges posed by the pandemic. FatFace’s sales have since rebounded to pre-pandemic levels.

Reports of FatFace’s potential acquisition by Next began to surface after the company’s owners,
including debt investor Alcentra, Goldman Sachs, and Lloyds Bank, had reportedly appointed
bankers to explore strategic options, including a potential sale, in May of the previous year. Last
month, Next increased its stake in Reiss to 72%, valuing the fashion retailer at nearly £400 million,
illustrating Next’s ongoing strategy to diversify its brand portfolio.Next’s history of making strategic
acquisitions highlights its ambition to expand its presence in the retail market and capitalize on new
opportunities within the fashion industry. However, neither Next nor FatFace have provided official
comments regarding the potential acquisition at this stage.

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