Victoria Beckham Gets $40 Million Investment From Goldman VetBy
Fashion brand to ramp up retail footprint online and off
Equity firm NEO owns stakes in Laduree macarons, AMI menswear
Victoria Beckham Ltd., the maker of $1,365 going-out clutches and $425 aviator sunglasses, sold 30 million pounds ($40 million) in new shares to a former Goldman Sachs Group Inc. banker’s private equity firm.
David Belhassen’s NEO Investment Partners LLP took a 30 percent stake in the former Spice Girl turned fashion designer’s namesake brand, valuing it around 100 million pounds, according to a person familiar with the transaction who asked not to be identified discussing private information. The London-based luxury house will use the funds to expand its retail presence online and off, as well as adding new product categories, the companies said in a joint statement Monday.
Even as the luxury marketplace weathered a global slowdown in growth in recent years, private equity’s appetite for exposure to the sector remained a constant -- and the industry is now on the rebound. In 2014, Blackstone Group LP shelled out 210 million euros ($250 million) for a minority stake in Gianni Versace SpA, while 2015 saw the Italian fund Clessidra SGR SpA take control of Roberto Cavalli for an undisclosed sum. In April, CVC Capital Partners Ltd. announced it would pay 800 million euros for a controlling stake in the Swiss watchmaker Breitling.
Beckham “has built a unique, differentiated luxury brand with a strong identity and very high potential,” Belhassen, founder and managing partner of NEO, said in the statement.
Since starting the company in 2008 with her husband, soccer player David, and former Spice Girls manager Simon Fuller, Beckham has grown her brand into a global fashion business with 36 million pounds in annual revenue, according to figures provided by the statement.
The Beckham brand has reached high and low to leverage its founder’s name recognition and credibility as a fashion trend-setter. The company sells $3,085 overcoats and $2,250 handbags from its main luxury line while boosting income via collaborations with Target Corp., Adidas AG-owned Reebok and Estee Lauder Cos.
NEO Investment Partners’ other high-end holdings include stakes in the French macaron specialist Laduree and Paris-based menswear label AMI.