Danish fashion group Bestseller is poised to acquire etailer MandM Direct for £140m, pending regulatory clearance. Retail Week takes a look at the business.
What is Bestseller?
Bestseller is a young fashion group that operates 11 brands including menswear retailer Jack & Jones, womenswear brand Vero Moda and teen retailer Outfitters Nation. It has more than 3,000 stores across 46 markets in Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Canada. Its products are stocked in 12,000 multi-brand and department stores in 53 markets worldwide.
What are its investments?
Bestseller is the largest shareholder in Asos, with around a 27% stake in the business. Last year it snapped up a 10% stake in rival online player Zalando. Through an investment company, Bestseller-owner Anders Holch Povlsen bought a stake in Danish online supermarket Nemlig.com in January. MandM Direct, which has been owned by private equity firm TA Associates since 2007, is set to become its latest etail acquisition.
Who owns Bestseller?
The group is still privately owned. It was set up in 1975 by husband and wife team Troels Holch Povlsen and Merete Bech Povlsen and the family still owns 100% of the business. Their son Anders Holch Povlsen is chief executive. The retailer says that its backbone is its “family feeling”. It says: “We help each other and have unlimited faith in our relatives.”
How is Bestseller performing?
The retailer’s global sales increased 6% to €2.6bn (£2.08bn) in its year to July 31, 2013. Net profit increased 16.6% to €192.4m (£153.7m).
Does it have a presence in the UK?
Yes. It has about 45 standalone Jack & Jones stores, 13 Vero Moda shops, and one store each for young fashion chains Vila and Only. Despite its growing presence it is not yet a household name and has relied on wholesale to grow in the UK, in particular through Asos. There has been occasional specualtion that Bestseller would stage a takeover bid for Asos, but it has previously denied such an intention.