Fashion: boohoo acquires Nasty Gal

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Online retailer boohoo.com has unveiled its latest acquisition as it revealed plans to snap up the brand of collapsed US fashion firm Nasty Gal in a £16m deal.

The group is looking to buy the brand and customer databases of failed group Nasty Gal, which filed for bankruptcy in America on November 9.

It comes just weeks after boohoo.com acquired rival fashion website Pretty Little Thing for £3.3m and upped its profit outlook following bumper Black Friday trading.

Mahmud Kamani and Carol Kane, joint chief executives of boohoo.com, said the Nasty Gal deal is an “ideal next step” for the group.

They added it was a “fantastic opportunity to add such a well-established, global brand to the Boohoo family”.

Founded by Sophia Amoruso in 2006, Los Angeles-based Nasty Gal began as an eBay shop for vintage clothing.

It specialises in fashion for young women, or “fashion-forward, free-thinking young women”, according to boohoo.com.

The deal, which is subject to an auction and still needs to be approved by a US court, will boost boohoo.com’s international reach and fast-growing US business.

Nasty Gal made revenues of £62.9m in the year to February 1 2016, but racked up losses of £17m.

Independent retail analyst Nick Bubb said: “With net revenue of 77 million US dollars in the year ended 1 February 2016, Nasty Gal would be an apparently cheap deal, although it remains to be seen what the underlying scale of the business will be post-bankruptcy.”

Boohoo expects to deliver revenue growth of between 38 per cent and 42 per cent for the full year, up from previous guidance of between 30 per cent and 35 per cent.

It hailed robust sales across the Black Friday weekend, saying in its recent update that demand was strong and that peak season trading was “encouraging”.