Natalie Massenet, the founder of the online high-end fashion retailer Net-a-Porter, will become £46 million ($US67.9 million) richer in
Net-a-Porter’s agreement to merge with the Italian online discount fashion store YOOX Group.
Not bad for a former writer for Tatler and Women’s Wear Daily.
Massenet already made £50 million from the group when she sold Net-a-Porter to Switzerland’s Richemont in 2010, according to figures cited by the Guardian and the New York Times in interviews with Massenet at the time.
Cartier-owner Richemont initially held a 29% stake in the company. In June 2010, Massenet sold her remaining Net-a-Porter stake for £50 million to Richemont, bringing its total stake up to 93%.
She remained as Net-a-Porter’s executive chairman ever since. She also reinvested £15 million back into the business alongside Richemont at the time of the deal.
Now that the Net-a-Porter and YOOX merger deal has been agreed, she will be handed a 4% in stake in the new company, in the form of stock worth £46 million, as part of an incentive scheme she received when she sold her company to Richemont in 2010.
The Net-a-Porter and YOOX deal is worth £2.3 billion and will create a digital fashion giant with combined sales of £946 million.
YOOX Group founder and former investment banker Federico Marchetti will become the CEO of the new combined company called YOOX Net-A-Porter Group. Meanwhile, Massenet will serve as executive chairman of YOOX Net-A-Porter Group with “defined responsibilities.“
“Today, we open the doors to the world’s biggest luxury fashion store. It is a store that never closes, a store without geographical borders, a store that connects with, inspires, serves and offers millions of style-conscious global consumers access to the finest designer labels in fashion. A store that provides established and emerging brands with the greatest interactive shop window to the world.”
Richemont will hold 50% of the shares in the newly formed group.
Massenet worked as a journalist from 1993 to 1998. She created Net-a-Porter in 2000 by selling designer clothes from her Chelsea flat. In the eraly days, she piled her stock in the bathtub. She said in an interview with O32C online magazine that she realised selling clothes online could be big business after she identified the “insane popularity” of pashmina scarves at the end of the 1990s.
Net-a-Porter, which sells in-season, high-end fashion brands such as Alexander McQueen and Roland Mouret, has annual sales of around £510 million.
Former investment banker Federico Marchetti launched Yoox Group at the same time in 2000. Yoox’s business is complimentary to Net-a-Porter because it sells high-end fashion but at a discounted price. It buys overstocked or unsold items from previous seasons from brands, such as Dolce & Gabbana and Armani, and sells them online at a discount.
In 2014, Yoox’s revenue jumped 18% to £381 million. Yoox’s shares are currently trading 7.5% up at €27.68 on the Italian stock exchange.
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