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FatFace acquired by Next in 115.2 million pound deal

By Rachel Douglass


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FatFace autumn collection. Credits: FatFace.

British lifestyle brand FatFace has been snapped up by Next in a 115.2 million pound deal that will see the duo build on their long-standing relationship.

In its own release, FatFace said the deal marked an important milestone amid the significant strategic and operational progress it has achieved over recent years. It added that through the support from Next, it hoped to keep driving its growth plans and continue on this journey.

Headquartered in Havant, the team will be led by Will Crumble, who was appointed chief executive officer in 2021 and noted in a statement that Next had “recognised the strong foundations and future potential for FatFace”.

He added: “We have great momentum. This is about helping us reach more customers – whether that be in the UK or internationally - and becoming a part of the Next family, with the backing of their Total Platform infrastructure, will help us achieve this.”

FatFace to continue trading through own retail network

Next said in its distributed press release that the sum consideration would be settled partly in cash and partly through the issue of new Next shares and management equity, rolling over into a new structure. It further noted that the transaction would not materially impact the group’s underlying profit of EPS in the current year.

Once the transaction is complete, Next will hold 97 percent of the equity, while FatFace’s management will hold 3 percent and will participate in a related equity scheme. FatFace will continue to retain its management autonomy and creative independence, as well as its own board of directors.

Next and FatFace first established their partnership in 2016, when the brand joined Next’s Label platform. In order to build on this, FatFace is expected to be integrated onto Next’s Total Platform – a suite of third-party brands – within the next year.

Additionally, FatFace is further anticipated to continue trading and developing via its own retail store portfolio, which contributes to 60 percent of its sales.

The news comes following a “period of strong trading” for FatFace, which in the 52 weeks to May 27, 2023, reported total sales of 282 million pounds, alongside statutory profit before tax of 19.5 million pounds.

Mergers and acquisitions