ASOS buys Topshop and Miss Selfridge brands for £265m

ASOS has acquired the Topshop, Topman, Miss Selfridge and HIIT brands and stock from Sir Philip Green's Arcadia group.

The move comes after the Arcadia group fell into administration in November last year, which put 13,000 jobs in jeopardy.

ASOS is paying £265m for the brands and £30m for the remaining stock, in a total deal worth £295m.

However, the group's 70 stores, employing 2,500 people, are not included in the takeover.

The deal is expected to complete on 4 February.

300 Arcadia employees working in design, buying and retail partnerships will transfer to ASOS, however, the online retailer and its administrators made no statement on the jobs of employees in the brands' store network.

ASOS said it had acquired "strong consumer-facing brands" and that it saw "a significant opportunity" to drive further global growth, adding that the brands would benefit from "investment into customer engagement and brand positioning in line with our existing model".

ASOS experienced strong sales during the pandemic, and was one of the biggest wholesalers for the Arcadia group.

The move follows news that Boohoo is in exclusive talks to purchase Arcadia brands Dorothy Perkins, Wallis and Burton, after recently snapping up the Debenhams brand and website for £55m.

Sir Philip Green is under pressure to fill the estimated £350m hole in Arcadia's 10,000-member pension fund using his estimated £930m fortune.

Nick Beighton, ASOS chief executive, said: "The acquisition of these iconic British brands is a hugely exciting moment for ASOS and our customers and will help accelerate our multi-brand platform strategy.

He added: "We have been central to driving their recent growth online and, under our ownership, we will develop them further, using our design, marketing, technology and logistics expertise, and working closely with key strategic retail partners in the UK and around the world."

Guy Elliott, senior vice president at retail consultancy Publicis Sapient, commented: “ASOS’s acquisition of Arcadia brands Topshop, Topman and Miss Selfridge is a quick move to acquire some valuable consumers and brand assets ‘on the cheap’.”

He added: “It’s positive because it keeps these much-loved British high street brands alive. ASOS seem to be building up their “own brand” portfolio so their products will be more balanced between their own ASOS brand and that of third parties, which makes sense.”

“However, I think it is disappointing, and somewhat short-sighted that they are not keeping any of the brand stores. That to me, feels like a bad longer-term decision. I believe they should have maintained some sort of store presence at least from a connection / brand awareness, omnichannel perspective, and for the sake of our high street – maybe just the best performing stores or the flagships like Oxford Circus.”

“Though I guess this way, they don’t take on any of that debt/cost initially and could always rebuild store infrastructure at a later date. Let’s hope so," he added.

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