NET-A-PORTER has found itself in a battle with some minority shareholders who claim its sale to Italian etail giant Yoox has seriously undervalued the business.
The luxury fashion site’s owner Richemont agreed to sell NET-A-PORTER to Yoox six months ago for £950m, but some shareholders, including original backer Carmen Busquets, claim this valuation is some £550m short of its true value.
An independent arbiter appears to back up the shareholders’ claims, according to a report in The Independent, valuing the business at around £1.5bn. An earlier valuation by Morgan Stanley had priced the company at £1.9bn.
Busquets has been vocal in her criticism of the deal to sell to Yoox. Earlier this year she told WWD that Richemont had been too hasty in pursuing the deal, saying the business was worth £2bn-£3bn.
It is understood that, despite the shareholder dissent, the merger will still go ahead in October. Under the new deal NET-A-PORTER founder Natalie Massenet will become executive chairman of the enlarged group while Yoox founder Federico Marchetti will become chief executive.