Slaughter and May advised Richemont on the deal, while Latham & Watkins advised Farfetch. Ropes & Gray team advised Alibaba on the deal.
The partnership, which was announced on 5 November 2020, will provide luxury brands with enhanced access to the China market as well as accelerate the digitization of the global luxury industry.
As part of the global partnership, Alibaba and Richemont will invest $600 million ($300 million each) in private convertible notes issued by Farfetch Limited. Alibaba and Richemont will also invest $500 million ($250 million each) in Farfetch China, taking a combined 25% stake in a new joint venture which will include Farfetch’s marketplace operations in the China region. Alibaba and Richemont have an option to purchase a further combined 24% of Farfetch China after the third year of the joint venture’s formation.
Alibaba and Richemont will also explore additional opportunities to work closely with Farfetch to provide services to luxury brands, including the development of the “Luxury New Retail” initiative, leveraging Farfetch’s and Alibaba’s state-of-the-art omni-channel retail technologies to serve the needs of luxury businesses.
Farfetch is an online luxury fashion retail platform that sells products from over 700 boutiques and brands from around the world. Headquartered in London, the company was founded in 2007 by the Portuguese entrepreneur José Neves.
Founded in 1999, Alibaba Group is a Chinese multinational technology company specializing in e-commerce, retail, Internet, and technology.
Richemont is a Switzerland-based luxury goods holding company founded in 1988. Through its various subsidiaries, Richemont produces and sells jewellery, watches, leather goods, pens, firearms, clothing and accessories.
Slaughter and May worked as an integrated team with Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP, led by partners George Stephanakis and Nick Dorsey. Slaughter and May’s team included Robert Innes (Picture), Partner, Filippo de Falco, Partner, Raghav Ghai, Associate, George O’Malley, Associate,William Turtle, Partner, Natalie Yeung, Partner, Murray Reeve, Associate and Ed Milliner, Senior Counsel.
The Latham team advising Farfetch was led by London corporate partners Joshua Kiernan, Ed Barnett, and Deborah Kirk, and New York corporate partners Ian Schuman, Adam Gelardi, and Reza Mojtabaee-Zamani, with counsel Ellen Smiley and associates Hector Sants, Elva Cullen, Polina Tulupova, and Jennifer Gascoyne.
The Ropes & Gray team was led by private equity partner Peng Yu (Hong Kong) and included private equity partner Elizabeth Todd (London), strategic transactions partner Rachel Phillips (New York), and litigation & enforcement partners Andrew Dale (Hong Kong), Ruchit Patel(London) and Ama Adams (DC),
Involved fees earner: Edward Barnett – Latham & Watkins; Elva Cullen – Latham & Watkins; Jennifer Gascoyne – Latham & Watkins; Adam Gelardi – Latham & Watkins; Joshua Kiernan – Latham & Watkins; Deborah Kirk – Latham & Watkins; Reza Mojtabaee-Zamani – Latham & Watkins; Hector Sants – Latham & Watkins; Ian Schuman – Latham & Watkins; Ellen Smiley – Latham & Watkins; Polina Tulupova – Latham & Watkins; Ama Adams – Ropes & Gray; Andrew Dale – Ropes & Gray; Ruchit Patel – Ropes & Gray; Rachel Phillips – Ropes & Gray; Elizabeth Todd – Ropes & Gray; Peng Yu – Ropes & Gray; Filippo de Falco – Slaughter and May; Raghav Ghai – Slaughter and May; Robert Innes – Slaughter and May; Ed Milliner – Slaughter and May; George O’Malley – Slaughter and May; Murray Reeve – Slaughter and May; William Turtle – Slaughter and May; Natalie Yeung – Slaughter and May;