Boohoo takes full ownership of Pretty Little Thing

Online fashion house Boohoo Group has today (28 May) announced the acquisition of the remaining 34% of shares in its Pretty Little Thing (PLT) subsidiary.

The deal, which is worth £269.8 million, potentially rising to £323.8 million, sees the group take full control from minority shareholders Umar Kamani and Paul Papworth.

Boohoo said the move is part of its vision “to lead the fashion eCommerce market globally”, and one that creates “significant value for the group’s shareholders”. The group also reiterated its ambition for further expansion, and said it is well placed to “take advantage of numerous merger and acquisition opportunities that are likely to emerge in the global fashion industry over the coming months”.

Since Boohoo acquired its initial 66% stake in PLT on 3 January 2017, it has expanded significantly. It generated £516 million of net sales for the year ending 29 February 2020 compared to £55 million for the year ending 28 February 2017.

The group said PLT's statutory after-tax profit totalled £45.2 million, and its adjusted after-tax profit totalled £47.2 million in the last financial year. The senior management team there, including Umar Kamani and Papworth, are expected to remain in their current roles and continue focusing on developing PLT internationally.

Today’s announcement comes after Boohoo yesterday refuted claims from British short seller Shadowfall that it had overstated cashflow in recent years. The allegation partly focused on the PLT shareholding structure, and claimed the group’s accounting misrepresented overall group profit.

Speaking today, Umar Kamani, founder & CEO of PLT, commented: "This deal represents another milestone in our journey at PLT.

“Since being a disruptive start-up in 2012 to a global fashion brand that generates over half a billion pounds in sales today, I am incredibly proud of what my team and I have achieved in such a short period of time. The team and myself have big ambitions for the brand, and I'm incredibly excited about what the future holds for PLT as it embarks on the next stage of its global journey as a fully-owned part of the Boohoo Group."

John Lyttle, group CEO, added: “I look forward to building on the great working relationship with Umar and the senior team at PLT as the group continues to move forwards with its multi-brand strategy as part of its vision to lead the fashion eCommerce market globally."