Richemont confirms collaboration talks between Net-a-Porter and Yoox

Luxury fashion e-tailer Net-a-Porter and Italian mail order organisation are in talks about "a potential business combination", according to the former's parent company Richemont.

A statement from Richemont, which owns a portfolio of luxury goods companies including Montblanc and Alfred Dunhill, indicated that it could make no further comment but would update the market accordingly, in the event of additional developments.

The group was prompted to issue a statement following rumours appearing in the global press over the weekend, which suggested a deal was imminent.

While Richemont has moved to confirm potential merger talks with Yoox, it has not made comment on other press rumours suggesting Amazon was also in talks to acquire Net-a-Porter.

The seemingly in-demand fashion e-tailer has grown considerably since it was founded by Natalie Massenet in 2000. Meanwhile, last summer saw long-running CEO Mark Sebba announce his retirement from the group.

Richemont said in January that the success of Net-a-Porter was one of the contributory factors behind the group's third-quarter retail sales growing 2% over the crucial Christmas quarter.

Retail sales in the three months to 31 December totalled €1.74 billion, with the luxury group saying: "Retail continued to outperform the wholesale channel. Retail sales were supported by selective store openings, jewellery sales and Net-a-Porter."