Update August 9, 2019 [9:49 a.m. ET]: Following the recent acquisition Off-White™ issued an official statement clarifying how the brand will operate moving forward. "OFF-WHITE LLC, which is controlled by Virgil Abloh, owns the trademark of our brand, and NGG is our exclusive licensee pursuant to a multi-year agreement. The New Guards Group transaction with Farfetch will not affect Off-White™ day to day operations as the New Guards Group team will become part of Farfetch. We look forward to our ongoing work together."
So, it's safe to say the Off-White™ you know and love will remain unchanged.
You can read our original story below.
Online retailer Farfetch has acquired New Guards Group in a deal that gives the Italian production and holding company that licenses Off-White™, Palm Angels, and Heron Preston an enterprise value of $675 million. According to the announcement, New Guards Group co-founder Davide De Giglio will remain on board as chief executive, with Andrea Grilli staying on as chief commercial officer.
Reacting to the news, Farfetch founder, co-chairman, and CEO José Neves said, "The brands of the future will have three core elements: first, a creative tastemaker able to leverage digital channels to engage a global community; second, best-in-class design, planning, and manufacturing; and third, direct-to-consumer global online distribution, complemented by a connected wholesale presence in the most prestigious physical boutiques.
"This is what the combination of Farfetch and New Guards brings to the industry. Together, we can not only continue to develop New Guards’ current portfolio, but will also be uniquely positioned to bring many new talents to life with the combined layers of the Farfetch platform."
News of the deal hasn't been a hit with investors, however, with Farfetch's shares on the New York Stock Exchange plummeting some 45 percent from $18.25 at the close of trading to a low of $10.10 after a little more than an hour of after-hours trading. That is down from a peak of $29.69 in early March.
Milan-based New Guards Group is said to own an average of 75 percent of its portfolio of brands, with De Giglio and co-founder Claudio Antonioli owning 46 percent of New Guards Group. The business' revenue has increased 59 percent year-on-year in the first half of 2019, with the gross profit margin up 55 percent. In the year ending April 30, New Guards generated before-tax profits of $95 million, with revenues of $345 million.
New Guards Group was founded in 2015 by De Giglio, Antonioli, and Marcelo Burlon, and has been at the vanguard of streetwear's rise into the world of luxury fashion for men. What its ownership by an e-commerce company will mean for its stable of brands remains to be seen, although Farfetch will be hoping the acquisition can help with its own business fortunes.
Farfetch has struggled for profitability and isn't expected to break even before taxes until 2021. Its results in the first two quarters of this year showed after-tax losses of $109 million and $89 million respectively, with second-quarter revenue rising 43 percent in comparison with 2018 to $209 million.
Farfetch is expected to pay the $675 million for New Guards Group in cash and shares. The deal will reportedly close in the third quarter of 2019.