LONDON — Yoox Net-a-Porter Group is poised to accelerate its growth in the Middle East thanks to a new, strategic investment from Alabbar Enterprises.
The investment comes in the form of a capital increase of 100 million euros, or $113 million, in YNAP, paid for entirely by Alabbar, which is controlled by Mohamed Alabbar.
An entrepreneur acknowledged as a driving force behind Dubai’s economic growth, Alabbar is the founder and chairman of Emaar Properties, parent company of Emaar Malls Group, the owner and operator of shopping malls and retail business in Dubai, including The Dubai Mall.
Alabbar Enterprises LLC also operates and invests in businesses in the Middle East, South East Asia and Africa across a variety of sectors, and has a host of fashion and luxury interests in the Middle East and Asia.
Yoox said that as a strategic shareholder, “Alabbar will be in a position to provide invaluable insights and support to YNAP, which will be key to developing the group’s rising business in the promising, yet complex, Middle Eastern luxury e-commerce market.”
YNAP said it has opted to raise 100 million euros, or $113 million, of equity capital, less than the maximum 200 million euros, or $226 million, authorized by the extraordinary shareholders’ meeting last July, in light of the lower than previously envisaged cash requirements.
The board does not plan to utilize its authorization for the remaining 100 million euros, or $113 million, YNAP added.
The capital increase was realized by issuing 3,571,428 ordinary shares at a price of 28 euros, or $32, per share, a 5.7 percent premium compared to YNAP’s closing share price on April 18.
Upon completion, Alabbar will hold a 4 percent stake of YNAP’s outstanding ordinary share capital, or 2.7 percent of the total issued share capital, and has committed to a 18-month lock-up period on the entire number of subscribed shares, according to a statement issued Tuesday.
Federico Marchetti, chief executive officer of YNAP, said he admires Alabbar “for his forward-thinking and relentless drive to innovate, a vision that has led to the creation of the world’s biggest mall. His track record in delivering exclusive luxury and retail experiences across the Middle East will provide us with invaluable insights in the fast-growing regional luxury fashion market.”
Johann Rupert, chairman of Compagnie Financiere Richemont said: “The expertise of Mr Alabbar and the experience of the team in the luxury retail sector will significantly strengthen and facilitate the further development” of YNAP.”