LONDON — Will they? Won’t they?
The owners of Matchesfashion.com continue to remain mum about a potential sale despite the company’s valuation now standing at 800 million pounds — coupled with press reports that private equity bidders are ready to table offers.
As reported earlier this month, the retailer’s valuation was in the region of 650 million pounds.
According to Sky News, that number has risen to more than 800 million pounds, with potential bidders including Apax Partners — which bought a stake in Tommy Hilfiger in 2006; former Valentino owner Permira; KKR, and Bain Capital.
Those companies could not be reached for comment at press time.
Sky said bids are due imminently, although no sale was ever announced, and owners Tom and Ruth Chapman have repeatedly declined all comment regarding the sale of a majority or minority stake in the company.
If the latest valuation proves valid, the Chapmans, who own a majority stake in the company, could walk out of the deal with more than 400 million pounds. However, their intentions remain unclear and sources close to the couple have said that they often field calls and have conversations with potential buyers.
In 2016, revenues at the luxury omnichannel retailer surged 61 percent year-over-year to just over 204 million pounds while earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, or EBITDA, came to 19 million pounds — nearly six times higher than the previous year.
Although the company declined to offer projections for fiscal 2017, sources said revenues could exceed 300 million pounds, with profits heading toward 40 million pounds.