Farfetch, the e-commerce platform founded by José Neves, has decided to postpone its quarterly report and related conference call with analysts. This move comes amid a challenging period for the company, marked by a significant decline in market capitalization from 26 billion dollars in 2021 to 740 million dollars. As has been well publicized, the stock has experienced a sharp drop of around 92 percent over the last five years, with a 73.5 percent percent decline in the past twelve months and 52 percent in 2023 alone. Farfetch's repositioning as a hybrid entity combining marketplace, physical retailer, tech-focused company, and proprietary brand may be contributing to its crisis.
Richemont, the Swiss luxury conglomerate linked to Farfetch through an agreement on Yoox Net-a-porter (Ynap), responded to the news. As part of the deal, Farfetch was expected to acquire a 47.5 percent stake in the Richemont subsidiary. Symphony Global, an investment vehicle led by Mohamed Alabbar, would hold a 3.2 percent stake. Richemont clarified that it has no financial obligation to Farfetch and does not plan to lend or invest in the company.
The Swiss group said it is closely monitoring the situation and reviewing its options regarding the agreements with Farfetch announced in August 2022. Richemont Maisons and Ynap continue to operate independently of the Farfetch platform.
Rumours in the British press suggest that José Neves is considering privatising Farfetch, engaging in negotiations with bankers and shareholders for a delisting from the New York Stock Exchange. This prospect has further unsettled investors, leading to a nearly 50 percent decline in e-commerce stocks. The shadows over Farfetch deepen as uncertainties about its future and potential privatization cast a veil of uncertainty on the once-prominent e-commerce player.
According to Reuters, Mr Neves owns a 15 percent stake in the business but holds 77 percent of the voting rights.