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Reformation sells majority stake to Permira

Published
today Jul 12, 2019
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10-year-old sustainable fashion brand Reformation has made a deal to sell a majority stake to global private equity firm Permira. 


Instagram @reformation


The deal was made through a company backed by Permira funds. According to a press statement, Permira will help Reformation to achieve its growth plans, expand its e-commerce strategy and retail footprint both domestically and internationally, and launch new product categories while maintaining its dedication to sustainability. Outside of Reformation, Permira has provided backing to a variety of brands, e-businesses and retailers, including Hugo Boss, Valentino, Dr. Martens, Minted, The Knot Worldwide and Allegro.

“Uniquely positioned at the intersection of fashion and sustainability, Reformation authentically speaks to today’s consumer,” said David Brisske, Permira principal. “[Reformation CEO Yael Aflalo] has done an incredible job building a brand and a company with a clear mission, beautiful products and a loyal following. It’s rare for a business to have both tremendous brand strength and first-rate omnichannel capabilities, as Reformation has.” 

As part of the agreement, Aflalo will continue to serve as Reformation’s chief executive officer and a significant owner, and Hali Borenstein will remain president. 

“When we met with the Permira team, it was clear that they shared our commitment to sustainability, and have a strong understanding of how to best navigate the complex and rapidly changing consumer market,” said Aflalo. “Permira’s global consumer and retail expertise is invaluable as we embark on this next chapter of growth.” 

The sale comes as the Los Angeles-based brand kicks off its international expansion, bringing its first international location to Canada and announcing that it will open its second international sales point in London this fall. 

In order to grow its global business online, the brand has also expanded its e-commerce capabilities. Through a partnership with Global-e, Reformation’s e-commerce platform will now support over 95 currencies, over 50 alternative payment methods, provide guaranteed tax and duties calculations, and ship faster for free.

Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC acted as financial advisor and Latham & Watkins LLP acted as legal advisor, respectively, to Reformation. Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC acted as financial advisor and Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP acted as legal advisor, respectively, to Permira. The transaction, which is subject to customary closing conditions, is expected to close in third quarter 2019. Longtime investor Stripes Group will remain a partner of Reformation.

Reformation currently has 14 retail locations in the U.S. with more to come in 2019, including locations in Austin, Texas; Chicago and New York City’s Upper East Side.

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