Condé Nast exits Farfetch stake - report

Condé Nast has exited its £234 million stake in online luxury marketplace Farfetch with press reports saying it had concerns over lavish marketing spend at the company.

The Vogue publisher had held its roughly 6% stake since 2017 when a deal between the two saw Condé Nast axing its webstore that had been heavily promoted by its publications and readers of its titles being directed to Farfetch instead. Farfetch acquired the brand, its stock and its customer database and also struck a Condé Nast content deal.

The news of the stake sale came in The Sunday Times but neither company has commented further nor even confirmed the report. 

Farfetch, under founder and company chief José Neves, is now listed on the New York Stock Exchange and saw its sales leaping 56% to £475 million last year, although losses also grew and hit £122.7 million.

It’s undeniable that 10-year-old Farfetch is spending heavily on marketing at present and it has said that its customer engagement and technology investments are positioning it for future growth.

Farfetch shares debuted on the stock exchange at $28.45 last autumn and edged over $30 in their first few days. But they traded as low as $16.40 at the start of this year, although they closed on Friday at $19.93. It means they’ve followed a similar path to a number of other high-profile retail/fashion IPOs over the years with an initial rush to bag the shares but then volatility as investors wait impatiently for the first signs of profitability.

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