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European Commission approves Richemont's acquisition of Yoox Net-A-Porter

Compagnie Financière Richemont SA said March 23 that the European Commission approved its voluntary public tender offer to acquire Italian e-commerce platform YOOX Net-A-Porter Group SpA, or YNAP.

The Swiss luxury goods retailer on Jan. 22 announced its intention to purchase all shares of YNAP for €38 per share, which, as of Jan. 19, reflects a 25.6% premium of the stock's closing price. The board of YNAP approved the proposed deal last week.

The European regulator said the offer, valued at €2.69 billion, did not raise competition concerns because the companies would have only a moderate combined market position after the merger and the overlap between their businesses was limited.

Richemont said it had obtained all antitrust clearances needed for the transaction to push through, including the approval of Italian securities market regulator Commissione Nazionale per le Società e la Borsa on March 14. However, the retailer said the acquisition is still subject to the minimum acceptance level condition stated in the offer, which says the acquisition will become effective only if acceptance of the offer will let Richemont hold 90% or more of YNAP's shares.

The Swiss retailer launched a euro bond offering of €3.75 billion on March 15 to fund the deal.