2023: The Year of High-Value Deals, Mergers & Acquisitions

2023 seems to be but the precipice of business investments as the world prepares for a global shift in luxury for 2024

Dec 26, 2023 | By Florence Sutton

From the Richemont Group’s rejection of an LVMH acquisition to Kering acquiring perfume house Creed and Rolex acquiring Bucherer, 2023 is the year of powerful mergers and acquisitions in the world of luxury.

L’Oréal’s Acquisition of Aesop for US$2.5 Billion

April saw Australia’s largest luxury acquirement. L’Oréal announced it was making plans to acquire Aesop, the Melbourne-based luxury skincare company, from Natura & Co. for a proposed transactional value of more than USD 2.5 billion. The deal was finalised in 30 August 2023 with Chief Executive Officer of L’Oréal Groupe, Nicolas Hieronimus commenting “On behalf of L’Oréal, I am very excited to welcome Aesop to the L’Oréal Groupe family.”

Richemont Rejects LVMH Acquisition

Since the start of the year, there have been rumours about a potential acquisition by the world’s largest luxury group LVMH of its fellow rival Richemont Group. The “whispers” were first reported by the Swiss newspaper Finanz und Wartscaft in February this year and has since gathered momentum. After LVMH’s successful turnover at Tiffany & Co., those in the luxury M&A space are speculating what the group’s next moves would be and many pointed towards Richemont’s crown jewel: Cartier. However, Chairman of Richemont Group Johann Rupert put to rest the acquisition rumours and said that the company was not for sale.

Read More: Richemont Group Says No to an Acquisition by LVMH

Kering Vs LVMH

In July, Kering and LVMH went head-to-head with their own conglomerate strategy dynamics — from a Kering acquisition to an LVMH sponsorship deal of Olympic proportions. Here’s what happened: The Kering Group made an acquisition bid towards Valentino, announcing that it bought a 30 percent stake in the Italian Maison for Euro 1.7 billion in cash. The move is part of a broader strategic partnership with Qatari investment fund Mayhoola as Gucci — another house under the Kering umbrella — navigates its way during a transitional year towards growth. LVMH on the other hand was gearing up for a different kind of takeover altogether. LVMH’s Bernard Arnault will be sponsoring the 2024 Summer Olympics in a first-of-its-kind deal that comes with a US$166 million (or approx. €150 million) payout and will include Chaumet medals and Moet Hennessy wine.

Twitter Became X

2023 was the year Twitter unveiled its new logo, from the recognisable blue bird to an “interim X” design. While the shake-up was met with dissension online, the choice of logo follows the likes of some of Musk’s other six companies including “SpaceX” and “xAi”; an alphabet he has a longstanding affinity with. Love him or hate him, this Twitter’s rebranding cemented Elon Musk’s legacy as one of the most influential tech magnates of All time.

Read More: AI Start-Up Rakes In $141 Million In Investment For AI Funding

Tapestry Took on Kering & LVMH

When it comes to the pantheon of luxury conglomerates, Kering and LVMH reign supreme as they each hold a sizeable portion of the luxury fashion and goods market. However, August 2023 saw Tapestry, the New-York based parent company of Coach, Stuart Weitzman and Kate Spade New York throw its hat in the ring after making plans to buy Capri, the owner of founder-led labels which include Jimmy Choo, Michael Kors and Versace. The US 8.5 Billion dollar deal was a strategic move by Tapestry to create a “new powerful global luxury house”.

Rolex Acquired Bucherer

Rolex and Bucherer both are no strangers to going against the grain since their inception, significantly so in an industry that is so tightly surveilled by its own craftsmen and consumers alike. However, Rolex’s acquisition of the world’s largest watch dealer Bucherer was described by Rolex as being driven by “a desire to perpetuate the success of Bucherer and preserve the close partnership ties that have linked both companies since 1924,” a strategic takeover which takes into account both the relationships Bucherer enjoys with existing watch and jewellery partners as well as the welfare of all the staff under its employment. 

Kering Acquires Creed

In July, Kering Beauté made its first major acquisition as it procured luxury fragrance house Creed from BlackRock Long Term Private Capital Europe and its chairman, Javier Ferrán in a strategic move that aims to see the company’s future growth in the beauty industry. The ambitious takeover was helmed by former Estee Lauder executive Raffaella Cornaggia who was appointed the role of CEO of Kering‘s beauty division in February. The all-cash transaction merges Creed’s potential across categories and geographies alongside Kering’s plans for expansion. As LUXUO reported earlier this year, the addition of Creed into the Kering family further reinstates the brand as the “largest global independent player in the high-end fragrance market” while for Kering, the maneuver lifts the group’s financial profile while simultaneously adding another notch to the company’s beauty portfolio (which already includes a perfume lineup of Alexander McQueen, Balenciaga, Bottega Veneta, Pomellato and Qeelin). 

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