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ASOS confirms acquisition of Topshop, Topman and Miss Selfridge for £265m

Lauretta Roberts
01 February 2021

ASOS has confirmed it has sealed the takeover of Topshop, Topman, Miss Selfridge and the HIIT brands from the collapsed Arcadia retail empire for £265m.

Administrators for Sir Philip Green’s former retail group said the online fashion giant had also paid an additional £30m for stock.

ASOS told investors on Monday morning that it will take on around 300 employees as part of the deal, which will not include any of the brands’ stores.

The company said the acquisition of the four brands will “resonate” with its core customer base of “20-somethings” in the UK, and it already sells a selection of the ranges on its multi-brand platform. It said the brands have a particularly strong resonance with customers in the UK, Germany and the US.

The deal is expected to complete later this week and will result in £20m worth of one-off restructuring and transaction costs for ASOS.

ASOS Miss Selfridge

ASOS CEO Nick Beighton said: “We are extremely proud to be the new owners of the Topshop, Topman, Miss Selfridge and HIIT brands.

“The acquisition of these iconic British brands is a hugely exciting moment for ASOS and our customers and will help accelerate our multi-brand platform strategy.

“We have been central to driving their recent growth online and, under our ownership, we will develop them further, using our design, marketing, technology and logistics expertise, and working closely with key strategic retail partners in the UK and around the world.”

ASOS

Nick Beighton, ASOS CEO

ASOS said it would be seeking to integrate the brands into its business as quickly as possible and would be undertaking a "thorough review of the supply chain to ensure it complies with all our Fashion with Integrity principles".

Throughout the remainder of this year it said it would be looking to reengage and build relationships with the brands' suppliers and that, via the administrators, it had already placed some orders to ensure continuity of supply.

While the deal means the brands' stores will disappear from the high street – though there has been some speculation that ASOS is looking to seal a deal on the Oxford Street flagship via a separate process – they will have a retail presence, it seems. ASOS has said it would be looking to work with strategic retail partners and in the US would be leveraging a partnership with Nordstrom to further the brands' reach in that market, where it has identified a strong opportunity for growth.

In 2019, before impact of COVID, the brands delivered total revenues of approximately £1bn across all channels. Despite the challenges of the pandemic, total revenues in 2020 were approximately £265m as brand sales via retail partners grew 16% and brand online sales grew 5%. Via its own channel, ASOS has achieved a 41% growth in the sales of the brands this year.

In the most recent 52 weeks ended 29 August 2020 Topshop, Topman and Miss Selfridge made an unaudited EBITDA loss of (£1.8m) across all channels.

The brands were considered to be the jewels in the crown of Sir Philip's empire and the competition to acquire them was great with ASOS seeing of Boohoo, Next in partnership with Davidson Kempner, Authentic Brands in partnership with JD Sports, and Chinese giant Shein.

However Boohoo does not look like this will be left empty handed having confirmed it is in exclusive talks to acquire the Wallis, Burton and Dorothy Perkins brands from Arcadia's administrators. That deal is expected to be worth in the region of £25m and will also not include stores.

Before Christmas the plus size brand Evans was bought by Australia's City Chic Collective for £23m.

Before its collapse into administration at the end of November 2020, Arcadia employed operated around 450 stores and employed around 13,000 staff, most of whom will lose their jobs.

It was the largest concessionaire of department store Debenhams and its collapsed into administration prompted Debenhams, which was already in administration itself, to commence liquidation proceedings. Last week Boohoo acquired the Debenhams brand and website for £55m, meaning most of its 12,000 will lose their jobs and its 118 stores will close.

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