Richemont said to be considering Net-a-Porter IPO in 2015
Richemont Group is considering an initial public offering of online retailer Net-a-Porter Ltd. as soon as next year, according to people with knowledge of the situation. Richemont, the world’s largest jewelry maker, has held talks with banks to discuss options for the London-based company, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the plans aren’t public. It may also consider a sale, two of the people said. The stock rose as much as 2.7 percent.
Richemont bought the two-thirds of Net-a-Porter it didn’t already own in a 2010 deal that valued the retailer at 350 million pounds ($550 million). Weber estimates Net-a-Porter’s sales reached 580 million euros ($728 million) in the year through March and will be about 660 million euros for fiscal 2015.
Net-a-Porter is unprofitable and has been without a chief executive officer since July. Founded by former fashion journalist Natalie Massenet in 2000, the Web retailer faces increasing competition from sites such as Matchesfashion.com and Mytheresa.com, which department-store Neiman Marcus Group Ltd. agreed to buy in September.
Richemont said last year Net-a-Porter isn’t for sale, after reports it held talks to sell the unit to Italian rival Yoox SpA. A spin-off of Net-a-Porter would also revive speculation the company could break up its fashion and leather-goods division, a move it also ruled out last year.