(Filed Under Financial and General Interest News). At the end of August, Naked Brand Group announced it had reached a non-binding agreement to receive a $25 million investment from Sapinda Holding B.V. (Sapinda), owner of La Perla. But no further developments on the deal have been announced in the month since.
Naked stated that “If the investment contemplated by the term sheet is completed, it will provide unique operating synergies, investment capital that would support strategic acquisitions, as well as direct-to-consumer and eCommerce initiatives globally.”
Naked’s CEO Justin Davis Rice added that he viewed the proposed deal as “a validation of our operating model and strategy. If completed, this investment will provide us with additional capital to support our plans to complete accretive strategic acquisitions to better utilize our under-leveraged operating infrastructure. We have identified several attractive opportunities within the eCommerce and direct-to-consumer space that we believe have the potential to create notable shareholder value over the long term. I look forward to announcing new developments surrounding these strategic initiatives as appropriate.”
Sapinda, an investment firm with offices in Amsterdam, London, Berlin and Hong Kong, acquired the lingerie brand La Perla in February of this year for an undisclosed sum. Prior to completing the deal with Sapinda, La Perla had been in talks to be acquired by the Chinese conglomerate Fosun International Ltd. (Fosun). (Shortly after ending talks with La Perla, Fosun announced it had purchased a majority stake in Wolford. Fosun also has a stake in Cosmo Lady, a public Chinese company that produces underwear).
“We have been looking at the luxury goods sector for a while and are delighted to have this opportunity to invest in Naked Brand Group,” said Lars Windhorst, co-founder and CEO of Sapinda. “Since the merger with Bendon, Justin and his team have a unique opportunity to continue to take the business forward. We expect to bring synergies across Naked and La Perla in terms of business intelligence through greater digitalization and shared knowledge across key product categories. We hope that our strategic investment, coupled with our expertise through La Perla, will help Naked to improve its global presence and enhance its position in the lingerie and swimwear industry.”
If the deal is completed, Sapinda will own about 20% of Naked. And, “so long as Sapinda owns at least 19.0% of the total issued ordinary shares of Naked, the non-binding term sheet provides for Sapinda to have the right to designate one member of Naked’s board of directors.”
Nevertheless, Naked warned that the “investment is contingent on the parties agreeing on the terms of a definitive agreement relating to the investment. There can be no assurance that the company will enter into a definitive agreement for the investment, and even if it does, there can be no assurance that any necessary approvals for the investment will be obtained and any conditions to the investment will be satisfied or waived. Accordingly, there is no assurance that the proposed investment will ever occur.”
The Naked announcement described La Perla as “employing more than 1,500 people in over 150 global locations, with flagship stores in all key metropolitan cities in America, Europe, the Middle-East and Asia and with over €140 million in FY2017 revenues.” According to a earlier article in Forbes, La Perla’s previous owner, Silvio Scaglia, had said he expected the company to break even by the end of 2018.
Sapinda, formed in 2009, described itself as a privately-owned principal investment holding company, focused on special situation investment opportunities across continental Europe, Africa, Middle-East and Asia.” — NM
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