boohoo, the online fashion retailer, has acquired all of the intellectual property assets (including customer data and related business information and selected contracts) of Debenhams from its joint administrators, for £55 million in cash.
The group will only be acquiring the brands and associated intellectual property rights. Thus the transaction does not include Debenhams’ retail stores, stock or any financial services.
Debenhams is in the process of closing down, with administrators unable to secure a rescue deal.
boohoo has said it intends to rebuild and relaunch the Debenhams platform, helping further an ambition to lead the fashion eCommerce market, and grow into new categories including beauty, sport and homeware.
It is planning to do this by creating the UK’s largest marketplace across fashion, beauty, sport and homeware, and expanding the range of products sold via the Debenhams marketplace.
John Lyttle, CEO, said: “The acquisition of the Debenhams brand is an important development for the Group, as we seek to capture incremental growth opportunities arising from the accelerating shift to online retail. We have developed a successful multi-brand direct-to-consumer platform that continues to disrupt the markets that we operate in.
“The acquisition represents an exciting strategic opportunity to transform our target addressable market through the creation of an online marketplace that leverages Debenhams’ high brand awareness and traffic through the development of beauty and fashion partnerships connecting brands with consumers.”
Mahmud Kamani, Executive Chairman, said: “This is a transformational deal for the Group, which allows us to capture the fantastic opportunity as eCommerce continues to grow. Our ambition is to create the UK’s largest marketplace.
“Our acquisition of the Debenhams brand is strategically significant as it represents a huge step which accelerates our ambition to be a leader, not just in fashion eCommerce, but in new categories including beauty, sport and homeware.”
Debenhams is expected to relaunch on the boohoo platform in Q1 FY22.
In order to allow for the winding down of Debenhams’ operations, Debenhams will continue to operate its website for an agreed period before the relaunch on the boohoo platform and a licence has been granted to allow for the winding down of Debenhams’ retail stores (when they are in a position to re-open) for an additional period.