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Online luxury retailer Mytheresa says it has filed for IPO

[NEW YORK] The parent company of Mytheresa Group GmbH, the luxury online retailer specialising in women's clothing, said it has filed confidentially for a US initial public offering.

The fast-growing German e-commerce company said in a statement that it hasn't determined a size and price range for the share sale. Mytheresa said the IPO would take place after the US Securities and Exchange Commission completes its review process, depending on market and other conditions.

Mytheresa is working with advisers and planning to go public in early 2021, people with knowledge of the matter have said. The company planned to seek a valuation of about US$1 billion to US$1.5 billion, though the target could change depending on business performance during the crucial holiday season, the people said.

Mytheresa has also attracted preliminary interest from listed blank-check firms, known as special purpose acquisition companies, one of the people said.

The company, which is backed by Ares Management Corp and Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, is taking advantage of a boom in online sales as coronavirus lockdowns keep shoppers at home. Shares of rival luxury boutique platform Farfetch Ltd. have almost quadrupled in US trading this year, buoyed by a US$1.1 billion investment from Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. and Richemont announced this month.

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Internet companies globally have raised more than US$19 billion in IPOs this year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Neiman Purchase Mytheresa traces its roots back more than 30 years to a luxury store in Munich. In 2006, it launched a small e-commerce business and has now grown into a business with more than 700 employees.

The company sells over 250 brands including Gucci, Prada and Givenchy to women, men and children in more than 140 countries, according to its website. Mytheresa is based near the Bavarian capital of Munich in southern Germany.

Luxury department store operator Neiman Marcus, then owned by Ares and CPPIB, acquired Mytheresa in 2014. The purchase price totalled about US$253 million, including additional payments tied to the company's performance after the acquisition, according to court filings. Neiman later transferred the online unit to its ultimate parent company, putting Mytheresa out of creditors' reach.

Dallas-based Neiman filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in May this year, after efforts to manage the chain's debt load unravelled and stores were forced to shut at the height of Covid-19.

In Neiman's bankruptcy case, a committee of unsecured creditors demanded a piece of Mytheresa to compensate for their losses. The creditor group ultimately agreed to drop objections to Neiman's bankruptcy reorganisation in exchange for a partial stake in the online business. Ares and CPPIB kept their majority stake in Mytheresa through the bankruptcy. MyTheresa as a separate entity didn't file for bankruptcy protection.

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