Becoming a stock market darling after a decade in business, Farfetch made its public debut with an initial public offering priced above the expected range, fetching $20 a share. That topped the $17 to $19 the company had previously projected and will raise a total of $885 million.
Shares of the luxury e-commerce platform shot up 42.3 percent to $28.45 during the first day of trading on the New York Stock Exchange, valuing the company at more than $8.2 billion. At one point, the stock was up 53 percent.
In a bid to grab a slice of the $70 billion-plus premium sportswear market, Farfetch acquired 100 percent of sneaker and streetwear platform Stadium Goods for $250 million, with plans to transform it into a global destination. In the process, it bought out Jed Stiller and John McPheters, who cofounded the company, and LVMH Luxury Ventures, which took a minority stake earlier in 2018.
Farfetch didn’t waste any time in making another acquisition, but this time it was targeting the Chinese consumer. It paid JD.com a reported $50 million to buy its independent luxury shopping platform Toplife, which has just been integrated into FarfetchChina.
It struck again the following month. Alongside, Nicola Bulgari, Farfetch invested in e-commerce site The Modist for an undisclosed sum. The retailer specializes in high-end, modest fashion and had previously partnered with Farfetch, becoming a direct retailer on its Marketplace platform.
The company unveiled a new handbag resale service, dubbed Farfetch Second Life, as part of its sustainability efforts.
Kshitij Kumar was appointed Farfetch’s new chief data officer. Kumar, who previously held roles at Zalando and technology companies like Ericsson, is focused on spearheading AI and data science-focused initiatives.
In a triple news release, the company published second-quarter earnings showing that losses widened, at the same time as revealing that it had acquired brand platform New Guards Group, the licensee of Virgil Abloh’s Off-White brand, for $675 million. Not done, Farfetch also told investors that its longtime chief operating officer Andrew Robb would be leaving the company after nine years only one year after its IPO. The announcements sent its stock plunging in after-market trading.
Farfetch’s stock held onto losses logged in after-hours trading the previous day and trended down 45 percent at $10.09 as Wall Street’s taste for the onetime stock market darling soured.
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