South Korea’s Coupang Completes Farfetch Acquisition


South Korean e-commerce firm Coupang on Wednesday announced it finalised its deal to control all of Farfetch’s assets, which include its online luxury marketplace and e-commerce software platform.

The deal, which was announced last December, included a $500 million bridge loan for Farfetch to avoid bankruptcy and wiped out all of the luxury e-tailer’s equity holders, including the company’s employees. Farfetch’s board was also purged, with only chief executive José Neves retaining his board seat.

The deal’s finalisation comes less than a week after a group of investors, called the 2027 Ad Hoc Group, formed to challenge the acquisition. The group, which holds more than 50 percent of Farfetch’s convertible notes, is requesting that Farfetch pay back all of its debts now amid fears that the luxury e-tailer’s value will plummet under Coupang’s ownership. The Ad Hoc Group also accused Farfetch of masking its cash troubles, since the company projected last August to end 2023 with $800 million in cash but was frantically seeking a bailout four months later.

With Farfetch officially under Coupang’s ownership, it’s unclear what will happen to the many businesses Farfetch acquired over the years. Farfetch is in the process of selling Violet Grey, the beauty retailer it acquired in 2022 for $50 million. The company has also been in talks to sell its brand incubator New Guards Group, which includes a licence for Off-White, BoF previously reported, as well as the UK-based department store chain Browns.

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Farfetch Sold to South Korea’s Coupang

The deal provides the online luxury giant with $500 million in emergency funding to continue operating. A complex transaction that would have seen Farfetch acquire a 47.5 percent stake in Yoox-Net-a-Porter from Richemont is dead.

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