Next has confirmed that it has completed a takeover of high street fashion retailer FatFace in a deal worth £115m.
The clothing retailer said Fatface would retain its own management and creative independence.
The takeover is the latest in a long line of acquisitions for Next, which has acquired the likes of online furniture retailer Made.com, Cath Kidston, and maternity wear retailer Jojo Maman Bebe since the pandemic.
Late last year, Next rescued struggling retailer Joules for £34m, and has recently upped its stake in premium fashion brand Reiss in a deal worth £128m.
Next’s chief executive Lord Wolfson has also formed partnerships with Victoria’s Secret and Gap.
City sources told Sky News that a deal for FatFace – which trades out of around 180 UK stores – could be announced later this week.
FatFace – which was founded in 1988 – trades from around 180 UK stores. It was purchased by private equity firm Bridgepoint in 2007 for £360m from buyout firm Advent International.
The retailer came close to a stock market flotation in 2014 but abandoned the idea amid difficult stock market conditions. The business was then taken over by lenders including Alcentra and Lloyds Banking Group in the summer of 2020.
Its owners reportedly appointed Rothschild to advise the retailer’s strategic options in May of last year.
In September, Next raised its profit guidance for the third time this year by £30m to £875m, a 0.5% increase on last year.