Frasers Group has snapped up luxury clothing website Matches Fashion for £52million.
The company, which is controlled by billionaire Mike Ashley, will buy Matches from private equity firm Apax Partners, its owner since 2017.
It marks a further expansion of Ashley’s empire, with Frasers owning retailers including Sports Direct, House of Fraser and Flannels as well as Savile Row tailor Gieves & Hawkes and bike shop Evans Cycles.
The move into luxury is part of the ‘elevation’ strategy under chief executive Michael Murray (pictured), who is married to Ashley’s daughter Anna.
Murray said: ‘This will strengthen Frasers’ luxury offering, accelerating our mission to provide consumers with access to the world’s best brands.’
Matches, which sells designer brands such as Gucci and Valentino, suffered a £33.5million loss last year.
Its chief executive Nick Beighton said: ‘Being part of Frasers, with their utter commitment to luxury, will give this business the financial stability it needs.’