On Monday, Yoox Group and Richemont both confirmed that they were in talks regarding a "potential business combination" of Yoox and Net-a-Porter. Just 24 hours later, that deal has been solidified: According to a statement from Richemont, it has signed an agreement to merge Net-a-Porter with Yoox into a new entity called the "Yoox Net-a-Porter Group."
The sale will likely go through in September, Richemont says, provided that Yoox's shareholders approve it at their next meeting in June. Natalie Massenet, Net-a-Porter's founder and executive chairwoman, will stay on in that role, and Yoox founder and CEO Federico Marchetti will become chief executive of the combined entity.
As part of the deal, Richemont will be receiving 50 percent of the combined company's shares, although its voting rights are capped at 25 percent — meaning Yoox will be calling the shots there.
"Established business models are being increasingly disrupted by the technological giants. It is with this in mind that we believe it is important to increase leadership and size to protect the uniqueness of the luxury industry," Richemont chairman Johann Rupert said in a statement. "The merger of the two leaders will further enhance an independent, neutral platform for a sophisticated clientele looking for luxury brands.”
Marchetti has said in the past that he thinks of Net-a-Porter as his company's greatest rival, comparing the two to Coca-Cola and Pepsi. Given Net-a-Porter's strength in online luxury shopping and Yoox's partnership with dozens of high fashion brands on powering their e-commerce sites, the sum of the two could be pretty potent indeed.