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Frasers Group Acquired MatchesFashion, Which Other Brands Do They Own?

by Kinjal Dixit

In a strategic move reshaping the retail landscape, Frasers Group, recently acquired luxury e-tailer Matchesfashion for £52 million.

With this deal, Frasers Group receives 100% of Matches shares from MF Intermediate Limited, essentially indicating a huge loss for its private equity backer Apax Partners.

Frasers Group will now be the sole owner of the six companies that make up Matches, along with those companies' junior and senior debt. 

This deal also solidified Frasers Group’s reputation as the most avid retail firm, in the best way possible.

According to Sky News, Frasers Group allegedly emerged victorious over competing bids from British retailer Next, which was among the "limited number of parties" that presented offers for acquiring the business.

As Frasers Group continue to nab new brands seemingly every week, we’ve gathered a snapshot of Frasers Group's diverse portfolio, showcasing its dynamic presence in the ever-evolving world of retail.

Owning some pretty renowned brands, including but not limited to Sports Direct, Flannels, Misguided, and Jack Wills, meaning its worth currently sits at 3.79 billion GBP at time of publication. 

USC - Frasers Group acquired an 80% stake in USC from Scottish entrepreneur Sir Tom Hunter for £7 million in July 2011. 

Then, in early 2015, the trend-oriented fashion retailer faced financial troubles and entered administration, leading to a full purchase from Republic, a company owned by Frasers.

Flannels - In September 2017, Frasers declared its complete ownership of Flannels, having obtained a 51% stake in 2012. This multi-brand retailer showcases an extensive array of designer labels namely Gucci, Vivienne Westwood, and Stone Island.

The group also has remained steadfast in its efforts to expand the retailer, unveiling new flagship stores in prominent UK cities and marking an entry into the Irish market.

Moreover, Flannels made a mark in the industry by bringing Beyonce’s “Renaissance” tour to life in London last year. The "Renaissance flagship," relocating to Flannels X on May 30, 2023, immersed you in the Beyoncé experience within the retailer's experiential cultural hub. 

Its London store transformed into a 360-degree digital display, exploring the visual and auditory splendour of the Renaissance era, and presented a 19-piece memorabilia offering, that was available for the first time outside stadium venues. 

The Renaissance flagship not only showcased an exhibition featuring 12 looks but also offered "Renaissance: Beyoncé with Balmain."

W1 Curates, a public art space, remains inside of Flannels London Flagship store with regular new exhibitions and events including launch events and talks. 

Misguided - Frasers acquired Missguided in a £20 million deal in 2021 after the brand faced administration triggered by clothing suppliers owed significant sums filing a winding-up petition. 

This wasn't the first instance of trouble, as in the latter part of the year, Missguided had sold 50% of the business to Alteri Investors for emergency funding.

ASOS - In the past year, Frasers Group increased its stake in ASOS on three occasions, reaching a current holding of 10.6%. This move has fuelled growing speculation about a potential takeover of the struggling online fashion retailer.

ASOS also boasts three major shareholders - Anders Holch Povlsen, the owner of Bestseller, commanding a 26% stake; hedge fund Camelot Capital Partners, holding 15%; and Frasers Group, securing a 10.6% share.

AO - Recently, Frasers Group acquired a 19% stake in Bolton-based online electrical retailer AO World, amounting to £75 million, from the distressed hedge fund Odey Asset Management. Frasers aims to leverage AO's expertise in electricals and two-man delivery, facilitating the expansion of growth in their bulk equipment and homeware categories. 

AO will also have the chance to capitalize on Frasers' expertise and ecosystem, fostering a mutually beneficial partnership between the two companies.

With the high street steadily dying out, having funded multiple store renovations Flannels are strategically targeting the growing demand for luxury in regional hubs across the UK.

The group expanded its portfolio by acquiring the luxury tailoring brand Gieves and Hawkes, and it has also secured stakes in companies like Hugo Boss and Mulberry. 

The investments reflect a broader strategy to diversify Frasers' presence in the luxury and fashion sectors. Which brand is next?

Edited by Emily Duff

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