The Korea Herald


Coupang to buy British online retailer Farfetch

By Hwang Joo-young

Published : Dec. 19, 2023 - 14:51

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Coupang corporate logo (Coupang) Coupang corporate logo (Coupang)

South Korean e-commerce giant Coupang announced Tuesday it plans to acquire the British luxury online platform Farfetch, in a bid to strengthen its competitiveness in the fashion and luxury industry.

Coupang will inject $500 million into the London-based retailer that sells high-end fashion and jewelry from more than 1,400 luxury brands. The funding will give a boost to Farfetch, which has struggled with weak sales amid an economic slowdown.

By combining its logistics know-how with Farfetch's expertise in high-end brands, Coupang expects the acquisition will strengthen its foothold in the rapidly growing luxury goods market in Korea.

The acquisition falls outside of Coupang's usual business priorities, which have focused on e-commerce fulfillment, food delivery, video-streaming and payment services.

“The acquisition positions Coupang as a leader in the $400 billion global personal luxury goods segment,” said Bom Kim, founder and CEO of Coupang. "Farfetch is a landmark of the luxury landscape and has been a transformative force in demonstrating that online luxury is the future of luxury retail."

For the deal, Coupang will provide a $500 million bridge loan via a partnership with investment firm Greenoaks Capital Partners.

With the tie-up, Farfetch will be delisted from the New York Stock Exchange that it debuted on in 2018. Trading in shares of Farfetch, with a market capitalization of $226.7 million, was halted Monday. Coupang shares were down 5.11 percent on the same day.

Farfetch will rededicate itself to providing the most elevated experience for the world's most exclusive brands, while pursuing steady growth as a private company, Kim added.

Jose Neves, founder and CEO of Farfetch, said, “Coupang’s proven track record and deep experience in revolutionizing commerce will enable us to deliver exceptional service for our brand and boutique partners, as well as for our millions of customers around the world.”

“We are thrilled to be partnering with such a respected Fortune 200 company that is committed to investing in innovations that transform all aspects of the customer experience with Farfetch,” he added.