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Boohoo buys remaining stake in PrettyLittleThing

Lauretta Roberts
28 May 2020

Boohoo has bought the remaining stake of PrettyLittleThing – founded by Umar Kamani son of Boohoo founder Mahmud Kamani – for £269.8 million.

Umar Kamani, who founded Pretty Little Thing in 2012, could see the amount rise by £54 million if the deal can help Boohoo shares hit 491p a share for a six-month period at some point over the next four years.

The deal for the women’s fashion brand aimed at the 16 to 24-year-old market was an “important further step towards achieving its vision to lead the fashion e-commerce market globally”, Boohoo said in a statement.

The deal, which had been played down by the company following initial reports, is the latest in a string of acquisitions made by the fashion business, including high street names Karen Millen and Coast and smaller online rival MissPap. The group also owns the Nasty Gal brand.

Boohoo said: “After this acquisition and with its growing platform of wholly owned, innovative fashion brands, the group believes it can continue to successfully disrupt the international markets it operates in today whilst retaining a strong balance sheet in order to take advantage of numerous M&A opportunities that are likely to emerge in the global fashion industry over the coming months.”

Since Boohoo bought a stake in Pretty Little Thing in January 2017 of 66%, revenues have hit £516 million with profits of £45.2 million after tax.

It added: “The group intends the senior management team at PLT, including Umar Kamani and [COO] Paul Papworth, to remain in their current roles and continue focusing on developing PLT into a global brand.”

Since the coronavirus lockdown hit, Boohoo said it saw a marked fall in sales in March but a swift rebound in April as it quickly pivoted its offer away from party wear to lounge and leisurewear. Earlier this month it launched a share placing raising £200m for future acquisitions saying the COVID-19 crisis would provide it with many opportunities.

Yesterday the group was forced to defend itself against claims from a hedge fund that it had exaggerated its free cashflow.

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