Frasers Group in talks to snap up Matchesfashion

Frasers Group (LSE: FRAS), the retail vehicle of billionaire Mike Ashley, is in advanced talks to buy Matchesfashion in a deal likely to crystallise heavy losses for the luxury fashion site’s owner Apax Partners, reports Sky News.

The company behind Sports Direct and House of Fraser is negotiating a £50m+ takeover just three years after Apax invested £600m in Matchesfashion, according to City sources. Apax’s rescue deal values Matchesfashion at a fraction of the private equity firm’s investment since 2017.

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Frasers has emerged as the frontrunner to take control of Matchesfashion and its 500 designer brands after struggling under a succession of leadership teams. Rival suitor Next has also expressed interest in a business that sells Balenciaga, Gucci and Valentino.

The deal would mark a major boost to Frasers’ ‘elevation strategy’ masterminded by chief executive Michael Murray – Mike Ashley’s son-in-law. Frasers shares were little changed this morning at 926.50p.