Next acquires 25% stake in Reiss
Next plc has today announced it has agreed terms to acquire a 25% stake in Reiss Limited through the acquisition of shares from existing shareholders in a deal that values the business at £200m.
Under the terms of the agreement, Next has an option to acquire an additional 26% interest at pre-agreed terms which, if exercised, would take Next’s holding to a majority 51%. The option falls away after July 2022.
Upon completion of the initial deal, which is subject to regulatory clearance, Next will make an equity investment of £33m and a debt investment of £10m, financed from Next’s own cash resources.
As part of the agreement, Reiss will transition its online platform, warehouse, distribution and logistics to the Next Total Platform, where Reiss can benefit from Next’s extensive infrastructure capabilities and can serve as a launch pad for Reiss’s growth plans, both in the UK, and overseas. It is anticipated Reiss will go live on Next’s Total Platform in February 2022.
Reiss will retain its management autonomy and creative independence, and will continue to have its own independent board of directors and be headquartered in London, under the continued leadership of Reiss Chief Executive, Christos Angelides, and his team.
Next Chief Executive, Simon Wolfson, said: “Reiss is an outstanding brand with enormous potential and a first class management team. We are excited to see what can be achieved through the combination of Reiss’s exceptional product, marketing and brand building skills with Next’s Total Platform infrastructure.”
Angelides added: “I believe the partnership with Next will be transformational for Reiss’s operational effectiveness. Next’s infrastructure will ensure Reiss is not only more efficient as a business, but more effective at serving its customers directly through Reiss stores, at reiss.com and through its worldwide partners.
“While we will continue to focus on creating authentic and timeless collections, today’s announcement provides a great opportunity for Reiss to realise the brand’s global potential as a modern fashion house.”
Celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, Reiss was founded in 1971 by David Reiss, originally as a menswear brand. It is now an affordable luxury apparel brand, producing and selling high-quality, classic and modern men's and women's clothing and accessories.
In May 2016, US private equity firm Warburg Pincus acquired a majority stake in Reiss, with the Reiss family retaining a minority holding. Christos Angelides was appointed CEO of Reiss in 2017. Angelides previously worked for Next for 28 years, serving 14 years on the Next plc board as Group Product Director.
In the year to 1 February 2020, Reiss achieved turnover of £227.4m through all its sales channels, an increase of 22% on the previous year. The company currently operates in 14 countries from 79 stores, 104 concessions and via wholesale and franchises.
In its first year, after accounting for integration and acquisition costs, the investment is expected to have minimal impact on Next group profits, but it’s expected to have a positive contribution thereafter.