Luxury concern LVMH has bought a 40 % stake in Australian sports clothing 2XU (“Two times You”). Using their Singaporean investment fund L. Capital Asia, the French company hopes to introduce the brand into the Asian market first, spreading across the world afterwards.
Worth 200 million dollars
LVMH paid 75 million Australian dollars (little over 50 million euro) for the shares. “We will build a bridge to Asia for 2XU”, says LVMH’s Ravi Thakran. “We have knowledge of brand building and will keep 2XU distinct, as we do with all our brands.”
Thakran values the Melbourne-based at some 150 million euro, which is not bad for an 8-year old company with a yearly turnover of 44 million euro. The three founders want to increase that turnover to 100 million euro in 2015, with the help and money of LVMH.
The three are still the largest shareholders, retaining 42 % of the shares. LVMH has 40 %, Lazard Australian Private Equity Ltd has 18 %. It is LVMH’s second investment in the Australian clothing market this year, after buying shares of R.M. Williams, known producer of outdoor clothing.
Initiate growth spurt
2XU has made a name for itself in sports circles, as it has clothing that improves performances: compression clothing and “wet suits” for running, cycling, fitness, triathlon and so on. Currently, 165 people work for 2XU in 15 stores: 12 in Australia and one in New Zealand, the Philippines and the United States. A second American store is in the works.
“The founders have given up their shareholding to accelerate our growth”, Davenport said. He dreams of expanding into Europe, Asia and the US. He believes more than half of America’s NBA players currently wear 2XU clothing.
(Translated by Gary Peeters)