Frasers Group buys Matches Fashion for £52m

The Sports Direct owner bought the online retail specialists from a subsidiary of private equity firm Apax Partners.

Henry Saker-Clark
Wednesday 20 December 2023 12:00 GMT
Matches Fashion has been bought by Frasers Group for £52m (Matches/PA)
Matches Fashion has been bought by Frasers Group for £52m (Matches/PA)

Mike Ashley’s Frasers Group has snapped up luxury clothing retailer Matches Fashion in a deal worth around £52 million.

Frasers, which owns Sports Direct and House of Fraser, said it will buy Matches from its parent company, MF Intermediate Limited, a subsidiary of private equity firm Apax Partners.

It said the online retailer, which was bought by Apax in 2017, has been loss-making in recent years, reporting a loss of £33.5 million for the year to January 31.

The deal is the latest luxury acquisition by Frasers since undertaking its “elevation strategy” in recent years.

The group has bought brands such as Savile Row tailors Gieves & Hawkes as part of the plan, and increased investment in brands such as Hugo Boss.

Frasers chief executive Michael Murray said it is confident about the deal despite recent weakness in the luxury retail market amid pressure on consumer budgets.

The boss, who is also Mr Ashley’s son-in-law, said: “Matches has always been a leader in online luxury retail and has incredible relationships with its brand partners.

“This acquisition will strengthen Frasers’ luxury offering, further deepening our relationships and accelerating our mission to provide consumers with access to the world’s best brands.

“Whilst the global luxury environment is softer, we are confident that, by leveraging our industry-leading ecosystem, we will unlock synergies and drive profitable growth for Matches.”

Matches is run by former Asos chief Nick Beighton.

Mr Beighton said: “Since I joined Matches last year, we have made good progress, sharpening our brand and product curation and improving the day-to-day operations of the business.

“As a result, we have seen a resilient trading performance despite the challenging economic backdrop.”

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in