Next confirms FatFace buy for over £100m
It’s official, NextWell
Completion of the deal should happen in the next few weeks at which point Next will own 97% of the firm and FatFace’s management will hold 3% in the business.
They’ll continue to be led by Will Crumbie, who joined FatFace as CFO in 2014 and became CEO in 2021.
Next said the purchase price will be settled partly in cash and “partly by the issue of new Next shares and management equity rolling over into the new structure”.
Management will also participate in “an additional performance-related equity scheme”.
Like other businesses Next has acquired in recent periods, FatFace “will retain its management autonomy and creative independence”. It will also keep its own board of directors and continue to be based in Havant, Hampshire, rather than at the Next HQ.
Next already has a history with FatFace, the latter being a Label brand selling on next.co.uk since 2016. Within the 12 months ahead, it should also migrate its online operations onto Next’s Total
FatFace’s owners have been looking at selling the business since last year, but the sale clearly isn’t happening from a position of weakness with its sales and profits recovering in recent periods.
In its announcement, Next said that in the 52 weeks to 27 May, FatFace achieved total sales of £282 million. The previous year revenue had been £234.8 million. Statutory profit before tax in the latest period was £19.5 million.