High-end designer furniture site Made.com (MADE) has bought online platform Trouva in a bid to accelerate its strategy to build a marketplace for homewares and enhance the choice of products available to customers.

Made.com pointed out the acquisition will allow it to avoid some anticipated capital expenditure (capex), though the acquisition of loss-making Trouva didn’t sit too well with investors, with Made.com’s shares marked down 1.3% to a fresh low of 55p.

ABOUT TROUVA

A sales platform for independent boutiques and brands launched in 2015, Trouva provides customers with a curated range of homewares, lifestyle and fashion products.

It will continue to operate as a standalone brand led by the current leadership team of chief executive Alex Loizou and chief operating officer Dimple Patel.

Like Made.com, London-headquartered Trouva is currently loss-making, yet Made.com insisted the deal ‘accelerates the group’s strategic priorities’ and will enhance the choice available to customers, while also expanding the geographic reach of Made.com’s marketplace as it will use Trouva’s cross-border technology.

In today’s statement, Made.com said that the total cashflow on the combined acquisition consideration and capital expenditure is now expected to be £13 million to £18 million for 2022, compared to previous guidance of £15 million to £20 million.

OPPORTUNISTIC DEAL

Trouva will benefit from the strength of Made.com’s balance sheet and Liberum Capital believes the timing of the acquisition is also opportunistic, as Trouva ‘likely had a tough Covid, allowing for this deal to be done at a very attractive price for shareholders’.

Made.com’s chief executive Nicola Thompson said the acquisition ‘brings with it an experienced and talented team, a sector-leading technology platform and excellently procured choices of homewares product that will resonate with the MADE target customer.

‘Trouva’s assortment complements MADE’s design-led homeware and home proposition superbly and is a great strategic fit for MADE as we continue to enhance our marketplace offer.’

THE LIBERUM VIEW

Shares in Made.com were down 1.3% to 55p on the news, leaving them trading more than 70% below their June 2021 initial pubic offering price of 200p, amid worries over weakening consumer demand, a fading Covid tailwind for online retail and supply chain disruption.

Nevertheless, Liberum stressed Made.com has ‘multiple structural and strategic tailwinds’, more than £100 million of net cash on the balance sheet and is ‘disrupting a £94 billion market which is at a tipping point of online adoption. It has a disruptive, vertically integrated model with strong competitive moats.’

The broker added: ‘With multiple drivers for sustainable long-term growth, the roadmap ahead is compelling.’

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Issue Date: 09 May 2022