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Alhokair, Arabian Centres Company acquire stake in Vogacloset

Rohma Sadaqat /Riyadh
rohma@khaleejtimes.com Filed on March 3, 2021
The transaction is subject to the fulfilment of various conditions precedent, expected to be completed by the end of June 2021

Fawaz Abdulaziz Alhokair Co (Alhokair) and Arabian Centres Company (ACC) have announced that they will acquire a combined 51 per cent stake in Vogacloset, a UK-based online fast fashion platform offering over 400 brands in the latest women’s, men’s and kids’ trends to fashion enthusiasts in the Middle East.

The buyers will acquire 41.2 per cent of Vogacloset’s existing shares based on a pre-money valuation of $60 million, subject to an earn-out structure conditional on certain growth thresholds. In addition, $12 million will be injected into the capital of Vogacloset to further develop its presence in the Saudi market, accelerate the growth of its active customer base and support the integration of Alhokair brands and ACC tenant brands onto the e-commerce platform. Post transaction, Alhokair and ACC will own a combined 51 per cent stake in Vogacloset.

It is envisaged that Vogacloset will be integrated with a Joint Venture established by the buyers to support the development of future opportunities aimed at building the two leading Saudi retail players’ unmatched omnichannel experience, for consumers and merchants alike. Plans already in the pipeline include the launch of a loyalty programme, along with a consumer finance offering.

Marwan Moukarzel, CEO of Alhokair, said: “Our investment in an online fashion and beauty platform of Vogacloset’s calibre is a significant milestone in our transformation and represents an exciting opportunity. This strategic investment in a sizeable and profitable regional e-commerce player is the most direct route for Alhokair to extend its leadership position in its core Saudi market – from offline to the online space, while safeguarding our competitive market position. Through Vogacloset’s platform, we look forward to introducing a range of brands online that is unmatched in the Saudi retail space, addressing our growing customer demand for a genuinely omnichannel experience, and giving our brands extended reach.”

The buyers’ principal strategic objective for their investment in Vogacloset is to accelerate digital transformation and create a truly modern retail business. Partnering with a leading e-commerce platform is the first pillar of this strategy, with the intention to create an industry-leading partnership in Saudi Arabia that leverages Vogacloset’s asset light and customer centric business model, efficient logistics chain and deep understanding of regional and global fashion trends.

Vogacloset’s unique value proposition for European brands with a vision to serve the Middle East, and having an established bilingual and operationally sound presence in their core market of Saudi Arabia, make it an ideal partner to Alhokair and ACC.

Faisal Al Jedaie, chief executive officer of ACC, added: “In line with our ambition to create Saudi Arabia’s first specialized digital retail platform, the partnership with Vogacloset will greatly enhance convenience and engagement for tenants and customers. The JV will add value to ACC by enabling us to offer a more holistic proposition for all our mall tenants, by giving their brands an improved online presence. We will also be able to provide our malls’ visitors with a specialized and advanced loyalty program, and a simplified and innovative consumer financing solution.”

ACC will strengthen its offering to mall tenants to include listings on the online marketplace, thereby providing a supplementary sales channel. Meanwhile, Vogacloset’s platform will be enhanced and expanded to become a formidable online/offline play with unified back-end logistics, and the solution will differentiate it from regional peers by providing unique features such as 'buy online, pick up in store', and 'buy online, return in store'.

Hanin Hamarneh, CEO of Vogacloset, said: “Partnering with Alhokair and ACC in Saudi Arabia, our key market, is a strategic leap for Vogacloset. We have built a leading multi-brand fast fashion platform with a successful track record of meeting evolving consumer demands across the Middle East, supported by close alignment and tight integration with our highly-reputed and well-established European online fast fashion suppliers. This partnership, and the new investment that it will bring, will support and accelerate the execution of our very ambitious growth plans in Saudi Arabia and the Middle East, and will help us to rapidly expand the market for our suppliers’ products.”

Led by its current leadership team, Vogacloset will continue to operate independently, and will keep on managing and operating its online platform vogacloset.com. The executive team, including the CEO, COO and executive chairman, have committed to continue leading the business for at least the next five years. A board of directors governing Vogacloset’s overall direction, supervision, and management will be formed comprising of seven members: two nominated by ACC, two nominated by Alhokair, and three nominated by the executive shareholders.

business@khaleejtimes.com

author

Rohma Sadaqat

I am a reporter and sub-editor on the Business desk at Khaleej Times. I mainly cover and write articles on the UAE's retail, hospitality, travel, and tourism sectors.Originally from Lahore, I have been living in the UAE for more than 20 years. I graduated with a BA in Mass Communication, with a concentration in Journalism, and a double minor in History and International Studies from the American University of Sharjah.If you see me out and about on assignment in Dubai, feel free to stop me, say hello, and we can chat about the latest kitten videos on YouTube.





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