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Farfetch Seeks Last-Minute Bailout to Avoid Insolvency

Should a deal not be finalised before Christmas, Farfetch will likely file for bankruptcy as its cash position has worsened this year, according to The Sunday Times report.
A shot of the Farfetch logo on a white background with blurred images of models in the background.
Farfetch is seeking a final bailout option or risk filing for administration. (Shutterstock)

Farfetch is in discussions with a liquidity provider to secure $500 million in emergency funding, in a deal that would also take the company private and wipe out shareholders, according to a report from The Sunday Times. Farfetch’s existing investors venture capital firm Dragoneer and Chinese tech giant Tencent are reportedly helping Farfetch negotiate with the still-unnamed private equity-backed firm.

Farfetch’s founder and chief executive José Neves is expected to remain with the company should a deal be reached.

If a deal is not finalised before Christmas, Farfetch will likely file for bankruptcy as its cash position has worsened this year, according to The Sunday Times report. The luxury e-tailer has around $2.8 billion in financial obligations that include convertible notes, according to estimates from Bernstein. It also includes over $1 billion in term loans, such as a $200 million credit facility it took out in September. AlixPartners is a potential administrator, The Sunday Times also reported. Farfetch’s stock trades at less than $1 and its market cap has fallen to $254 million, from a high of $26 billion in February 2021.

Farfetch and AlixPartners declined to comment.

Farfetch was reportedly in talks to secure financing with a consortium of new investors, including alternative asset management firm Apollo Global Management, according to a Sky News report on Wednesday, but a deal is not expected to materialise.

BoF previously reported that insolvency was not out of the question for Farfetch as it explored options, including tapping existing partners for new investments and selling off assets like its brand incubator New Guards Group, but a bailout had not yet been secured.

But Farfetch’s ability to secure capital from some of its biggest partners is unlikely. Richemont, which invested $1.1 billion in Farfetch in 2020 in partnership with Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, has said it does not plan to invest further in Farfetch. A deal to sell a 47.5 percent stake in Richemont’s e-tailer Yoox Net-a-Porter to Farfetch also appears to have stalled. Alibaba’s president J. Michael Evans departed Faretch’s board on Nov. 30, bringing more uncertainty to Farfetch’s relationship with Alibaba.

Farfetch isn’t the only luxury e-tailer up for sale. Retail giant Frasers Group is in talks to buy Matchesfashion for between £50 million to £100 million, according to a report in Sky News. Private equity firm Apax Partners bought a majority stake in Matchesfashion in 2017 at a $1 billion valuation.

Further Reading

Richemont, owner of jeweller Cartier, said on Wednesday it would not inject any cash into online luxury retailer Farfetch, following a report that the latter was exploring going private.



About the author
Malique Morris
Malique Morris

Malique Morris is Direct-to-Consumer Correspondent at The Business of Fashion. He is based in New York and covers digital-native brands and shifts in the online shopping industry.

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