Frasers Group has snapped up beleaguered online retailer Missguided, the British retail giant confirmed in a regulatory filing today.
The Mike Ashley-founded group, which owns House of Frasers and Sports Direct, has bought Missguided for £20m, following its collapse earlier this week.
Fast fashion rival Boohoo was understood to be interested in buying the collapsed brand. Administrators from Teneo said there was “a high level of interest from a number of strategic buyers.”
The Manchester-based firm had fallen foul of an “extremely challenging” retail trading environment, Gavin Maher of Teneo, said.
However, Missguided has now been slammed by critics, after suppliers accused the brand of owing them millions of pounds.
AJ Bell investment director Russ Mould said: “Time will tell if the name of the acquisition will prove prophetic. Though Ashley, for all his detractors, has a way of making the brands he has snared in the past work… As the shakeout in the retail sector continues he may have further opportunities to snap up assets on the cheap.”
Hargreaves Lansdown senior investment and markets analyst Susannah Streeter called the deal’s price tag a “bargain”.
“The £20m it is paying to acquire Missguided’s intellectual property is small beer, when you consider the many millions of pounds poured in during vain attempts to save it from collapse,” she explained.
“Alteri investors injected £53m into the business and took a 50 per cent stake in the company but attempts to sell floundered, and now Frasers Group has scooped up the remnants ready for a makeover.”
Michael Murray, the new boss of Frasers Group, said in a statement that Missguided’s “digital-first approach to the latest trends in women’s fashion will bring additional expertise to the wider Frasers Group.”