JEDDAH: Two major Saudi retail players have joined forces to buy a combined 51 percent stake in UK-based e-commerce platform Vogacloset, it was announced on Wednesday.
Retail franchise conglomerate Fawaz Abdulaziz Alhokair Co. (Alhokair) and shopping center operator Arabian Centers Company (ACC) will each own 25.5 percent of Vogacloset, at a cost of SR68,856,933 ($18,360,254), according to Tadawul filings by each company.
In addition, the new buyers will also pump $12 million into 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,” according to a press statement.
Established in London in 2013, Vogacloset sells European fast fashion and beauty products to Arab customers. Since 2015 its sales have risen 70 percent and in 2020 it attracted 12 million unique users across the Middle East, with more than half from Saudi Arabia.
According to a Tadawul listing by Alhokair, Vogacloset’s revenue rose from SR58 million in 2018 to SR266 million in 2020. As a result, it went from a net loss of SR240,000 in 2018 to a net profit of SR10.94 million last year.
Alhokair and ACC said they are likely to see the financial impact of the deal “from Q1 FY2022 onwards in terms of profit sharing, and also an increase in the sales of its brands and offering on the platform.”
The deal is expected to be completed by the end of June 2021.
Commenting on the deal, Marwan Moukarzel, CEO of Alhokair, said: “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.”
Faisal Al-Jedaie, CEO of ACC, said it will enhance its offering to its mall tenants by allowing them to list their produce on the platform and allow them to offer “buy online, pick up in store” and “buy online, return in store” options.
“This partnership, and the new investment that it will bring, will support and accelerate the execution of our ambitious growth plans in Saudi Arabia and the Middle East,” Hanin Hamarneh, CEO of Vogacloset, said in a statement.
Formed in 1990, Alhokair operates around 1,800 stores across 100 shopping malls in 13 countries, employing more than 12,000 people and representing around 90 brands, spanning womenswear, menswear, kids and baby, department stores, shoes and accessories, cosmetics and coffee shops. ACC operates a portfolio of 21 shopping centers in 11 Saudi cities.