I Saw It First, the failed online fashion retailer, has been acquired by Frasers Group for a mere £1. However, it has come to light that the company owed £13 million to its shareholders at the time of its collapse. The exact value of the deal was not disclosed during the acquisition in July, but it has recently been revealed in Frasers Group’s six-month results.

As part of the deal, a debt transfer occurred, with the £13 million loan now belonging to Frasers Group, making them the new lender. Since taking over the company, Frasers Group has reported a revenue of £5.6 million and a pre-tax loss of £5.8 million.

When the acquisition was announced, Frasers Group emphasized that I Saw It First would benefit from their platform’s strength and scale, as well as the integration with Missguided, which they had recently acquired. I Saw It First was founded by Jalal Kamani, the brother of Boohoo co-founder Mahmud Kamani. The company gained a significant boost in 2019 when it became an official partner of the popular ITV show Love Island, attracting a quarter of a million new customers. Currently, the brand has a customer base of three million.

By acquiring I Saw It First, Frasers Group gains an opportunity to capitalize on their resources and expertise to support the struggling fashion retailer. With their robust platform and integration with Missguided, I Saw It First can tap into Frasers Group’s extensive customer base and access their supply chain, potentially leading to a turnaround in the company’s financial performance.

However, the substantial debt owed to shareholders underscores the challenges faced by I Saw It First. Frasers Group will need to carefully manage this debt and implement effective strategies to restore profitability to the company.

The fashion industry has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, with many retailers facing financial difficulties. Acquiring struggling companies at a nominal price has become an appealing option for larger players like Frasers Group, as it allows them to expand their market share and strengthen their position in the industry.

The success of Frasers Group’s acquisition of I Saw It First will rely heavily on their ability to seamlessly integrate the company into their existing operations and leverage their resources to drive growth. The challenges posed by the acquired debt will require careful management and strategic planning.

Overall, the purchase of I Saw It First by Frasers Group highlights the dynamics of the fashion industry and the potential opportunities and risks involved in acquiring struggling retailers. As the industry continues to adapt to evolving consumer preferences and market conditions, partnerships and acquisitions will likely play a pivotal role in shaping its future landscape.

Useful Links:
BBC: Frasers Group acquires I Saw It First for £1
Retail Gazette: Frasers Group completes acquisition of I Saw It First