L Capital has gone on shopping yet again. LVMH’s investment vehicle has sealed the acquisition of a 40 percent stake in Australian sports fashion brand 2XU at 75 million Australian dollars. LVMH’s top executive for the Asian market has valued the brand in circa 200 million Australian dollars.
2XU and Lazard Private Equity’s choice of L Capital Asia as an equity partner was based on “a shared vision” as they expect L Capital Asia to provide 2XU with a valuable consumer markets understanding and access to global markets.
“We will build a bridge to Asia” for 2XU, Ravi Thakran, group president for LVMH in south Asia, Southeast Asia and the Middle East, in an interview with DataRoom. “We have knowledge of brand building and will keep 2XU distinct, as we do with all our brands,” he advanced.
Thakran has valued 2XU at 200 million Australian dollars. This is the second foray into the down under’s active-wear market for L Capital this year, after buying a stake in the Australian outdoor clothing company R.M. Williams.
2XU’s founders to cut their stake to allow L Capital investment
2XU’s founders Clyde Davenport, James Hunt and Aidan Clarke have agreed to reduce their participation in the company’s capital, although they’ll remain the main stakeholders with a joint 42 percent stake. “The founders have given up their shareholding to accelerate our growth”, Davenport said. Lazard Australian Private Equity has also reduced its position in 2XU from 30 to 18 percent.
“We are thrilled to have L Capital Asia as a partner,” said 2XU executive chairman and co-founder Clyde Davenport. “We believe that its experienced international team will accelerate us towards our goal of becoming Australia’s first major global sportswear brand,” he added.
Commenting the deal, Thakran said that “We firmly believe that the combination of this strong proposition, with our unique approach to performance enhancement across our portfolio companies will help the brand in achieving its full potential as a strong, globally recognised performance sportswear brand”.
Since founded eight years ago, 2XU has gone from zero revenue to about 65 million Australian dollars this year, proudly explained Davenport, who expects the company to overcome the 150 million Australian dollars landmark by the end of 2015.
2XU has one store in The Philippines, 12 stores in Australia, one in New Zealand and one in the US with plans to open another outlet in the US.