LONDON — Investment banks were buzzing on Friday about the potential impact that a new, higher valuation of Net-a-porter Group could have on the merger with Yoox, which is set for October.
Following an exclusive front-page report in WWD that an independent valuer had put a 50 percent higher price tag on the luxury e-tailer than the one set out in the merger deal, Deutsche Bank said it was expecting little impact on the merger execution or timing.
The bank said the strike price of the options between Compagnie Financière Richemont and Net’s minorities did not represent a condition for the merger and could not stop or delay it.
It also argued in favor of the original deal, noting that while some would say Yoox merged with Net at a good price, “the strong share price reaction since the announcement reflects the synergy potential arising from the merger.”
It said that Net’s parent Richemont’s decision to retain a 50 percent stake in the new entity Yoox Net-a-porter Group recognizes the value of the new combination, “which will create the leader in online luxury offering superior synergy and growth potential.”
Luca Solca, managing director at Exane BNP Paribas, had a different take, however, on the new 1.5 billion pound, or $2.34 billion, valuation placed on Net.
As reported, that price is more than 50 percent higher than the original valuation, although minority shareholders believed the company could have fetched double that figure.
In a brief report headlined, “Tensions surface between Richemont and Net-a-Porter minority shareholders,” Solca pointed to potential problems with integrating the two companies.
“Natalie Massenet does not appear to have a key role in the new company and does not seem particularly happy with the idea of a merger with Yoox,” said Solca, referring to Net’s founder, who will become executive chairman with defined responsibilities, while Federico Marchetti, founder of Yoox Group, will be chief executive officer.
“One could potentially envisage this could be seen as a negative by investors. In fact, tensions between Yoox and Net could increase the execution risks connected to post-merger integration,” Solca wrote.
In late afternoon trading, Yoox shares were down 2.3 percent to 29.17 euros, or $31.82, while Richemont was up 0.4 percent to 84.05 Swiss francs, or $85.71.