Ropes & Gray team advised Alibaba, the world’s largest retailer and e-commerce company, in its US$1.15 billion investment (in conjunction with Richemont, the Switzerland-based luxury goods group) in Farfetch Limited, a NYSE-listed leading global online luxury fashion retailer. Alibaba and Richemont will also invest in the newly formed Farfetch China joint venture. The transaction was announced on November 5.
Farfetch Ltd. is expected to launch luxury shopping channels on Alibaba’s e-commerce sites Tmall Luxury Pavilion and Luxury Soho, China’s premier luxury and luxury outlet destination. These channels will expand the reach of Farfetch’s global luxury platform to Alibaba’s 700+ million consumers, while also elevating brand awareness for luxury labels. This deal is part of Alibaba’s “Luxury New Retail” initiative in China, a concept developed to provide seamless integration between digital and offline experiences, providing luxury companies the opportunity to pursue their distribution strategies through e-commerce website and apps. This innovative enterprise aims to accelerate the digitization of the global luxury retail industry, which has faced unprecedented challenges resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ropes & Gray previously advised Alibaba in its strategic partnership with Richemont and China joint venture with YOOX Net-A-Porter Group in 2018.
The Ropes & Gray team was 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).
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