Chinese fast-fashion retailer Shein has made its first British brand acquisition, purchasing Missguided from Frasers, the e-commerce giant founded by Mike Ashley.
Under the terms of the deal, Shein will acquire Missguided’s intellectual property and trademarks, while Frasers will retain ownership of its real estate and employees, who will be integrated into Frasers’ fashion division.
Financial specifics of the transaction remain undisclosed, but Frasers has expressed enthusiasm for potential collaborations with Shein across its brand portfolio.
Frasers, formerly known as Sports Direct, had previously acquired Missguided for £20 million in June 2022 when the brand was under administration.
Following this development, shares in Frasers, with 73% owned by Mike Ashley’s Sports Direct, saw a 1.6% increase in morning trading.
This acquisition is significant as it marks Shein’s first venture into the British market, aligning with its focus on the UK as a rapidly growing market.
It will also bring the Missguided brand onto Shein’s online platform, which currently serves approximately 150 million users.
In addition to Missguided, Frasers also owns “I Saw it First” and “Missy Empire” in women’s online fashion, and it believes that retaining the combined fashion teams while streamlining its brand portfolio makes strategic sense in the current retail environment.
Frasers CEO Michael Murray expressed excitement about the potential for further collaboration between Frasers Group and Shein.
Some analysts speculate that this deal could be a precursor to leveraging Frasers’ UK store portfolio, helping Shein bridge the gap between online and offline shopping.
Donald Tang, executive chairman of Shein, emphasized the novelty of this partnership, stating that it ushers in a new format of partnerships for Shein.
Shein has been actively expanding its platform to include other apparel brands, including a recent co-branded line with Forever 21 and a partnership with SPARC Group in the United States.
While Shein has relocated its headquarters to Singapore, it continues to manufacture the majority of its products in China.
Moreover, there have been reports suggesting that Shein is exploring a potential initial public offering (IPO) in the United States, with discussions held with both the New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq.
Frasers also holds stakes of 19% and 16.5% in online fashion retailers ASOS and Boohoo, respectively, further solidifying its presence in the fashion industry.