International law firm Withers LLP has advised Natalie Massenet, founder of online luxury fashion retailer Net-a-Porter, on its £350 million sale to Swiss luxury goods group Richemont. The deal was agreed on 31 March 2010.
London-based Net-a-Porter, set up and run by former fashion journalist Natalie Massenet, has been a global success story. It now employs some 600 people in New York and London and in the 12 months leading up to 31 January 2009, it posted a 234% rise in pre-tax profits.
Richemont is the world’s third-largest luxury goods group after LVMH and PPR. It owns a host of leading brands such as Cartier and Alfred Dunhill and until now held a 33% stake in Net-a-Porter. As a result of yesterday’s deal, Richemont acquired control of the company, buying Natalie Massenet’s 18% stake in Net-a-Porter as well as the holdings of smaller investors. Mrs Massenet will remain at the helm of the company in her role as Executive Chairman and retains a stake in the business.
Consultant Hugh Devlin acted as principal adviser to Mrs Massenet and Paul McGrath led the Withers team acting on this deal and advised Natalie Massenet throughout the planning, negotiation and execution of the transaction.
Commenting on the deal, Hugh Devlin said:
“We are delighted to have assisted Natalie Massenet on this deal. Natalie is a recognised global leader in online retailing of luxury goods and online fashion magazine publication. This transaction lays the ground for the continued success of Net-a-Porter with her in the driving seat. We look forward to working with Natalie further to grow and develop the business.”
Slaughter & May acted for Richemont and Olswang acted for Net-a-porter in the transaction.