Amazon and Vente-Privee in talks over 2 billion Euro acquisition, say sources

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[France] US retailing giant Amazon is in deep and secret negotiations with Vente-Privee, the French private sales club which has taken the ecommerce and fashion industries by storm, our sources say.

We asked Xavier Court, marketing director at Vente-Privee, on the record if Amazon had acquired Vente-Privee. His response was “Very flattering but not true at all.”

However, our sources say that although the two companies have not yet agreed anything, they are in fact negotiating a price close to 2 billion Euros, or $3.01 billion. In October we learned that Vente-Privee was looking for a sale of between $2 billion and $4 billion.

Vente-Privee began in France in 2001, but has only recently become a powerhouse of a new wave in Europe: online private sales clubs involving designer fashion brands, otherwise known in the fashion retail industry as the “overstock market”. Vente-Privee is on target to €650m in turnover globally this year.

Gilt, Amazon and eBay are all understood to be actively looking at getting into the European private shopping club space, but it appears that Amazon is the most serious about entering via acquisition.

The scale of Ventee-Privee’s operation is now staggering. It has over 1,000 employees and 18 photography studios at its French HQ, housed in the vast, former printing factory for the Le Monde newspaper.

eBay has been dabbling in the private sales market, recently introducing eBay OUTLET on its UK site.

Vente-Privee’s success has lead to a bunch of similar sites launching across Europe.

Newspaper group News International runs BrandAlley UK. In Russia there is KupiVIP.ru. BuyVIP is the Spain-based private online buying club. In Germany brands4friends has two million members. In the US, Gilt Groupe, Ideeli, Rue La La and others are creating a similar wave of hype – and cash.

  • http://www.twitter.com/olivermeakings Oliver

    Wow. Congratulations. That’s how it’s done.

    • http://profiles.google.com/cc.vicky1987 vicky jiang

       great deal of ladies and girls would be the fans of gorgeous and shiny jewelry. Tiffany jewelry could be the representative of jewelry that it has a great fame and reputation.tiffany earrings sale Tiffany jewelry is beautiful, stylish and stylish. 

  • http://twitter.com/jamesbritton James Britton

    spelling error in quote: should be “flattering”

    It’s a bad time for an American company to be spending Euros: 1 Euro = 1.5067 U.S. dollars

    • http://philippmoehring.de Philipp

      Maybe they want to do just that – use their Euro income to buy local companies instead of having to get it back to the US. I have no real idea of how this works tax-wise, but maybe this is part of the motivation.
      An acquisition like that could make sense, though: amazon is moving into fashion retail, so buying the strongest brands outright seems to be part of their way of doing it (see zappos).
      Of course, if it is just speculation, forget that.

    • go fanny

      they would be earning in euros too

  • http://www.ironfle.com/rachat-vente-privee-amazon/ironfle RACHAT De VENTE-PRIVEE.COM PAR LE GEANT AMAZON ? | iRonfle.com, Internet et Nouvelles Technologies à Destination du Grand Public

    […] par le groupe Amazon. Aucun montant n’était alors révélé et le doute subsistait, mais TechCrunch viens de révéler de nouveaux détails concernant ce possible […]

  • http://www.yanroux.com/ Yannick

    Mike, any idea on what kind of profit margin these guys generate? just trying to get a feel for what multiple €2bn would imply..

    • Jacob

      General rule of thumb is divide purchase price by 10 to get estimated sales price. That puts annual profit around $300 million – but I doubt this is the case here, probably more around $100-$150 million, with expected profits around $300 within 2-4 years.

    • klajdi

      Can anyone share any link where I can read more about how this online shopping clubs works as a business. It looks a very nice and unique service and I wanted to know more about how it works.

      Thanks

  • http://www.touteslesventes.com ToutesLesVentes.com

    That’s a BIG deal !

  • http://www.mcquadr.at Omer

    Well, that’s a real big deal, hope amazon will keep the philosophy of the company, if they acquire it.

  • Antoine

    GOGOGO faites péter les milliards !

  • http://www.kdbuzz.com taradict 4 KDBZ

    Bien !!!

    Great for the froggies !

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  • http://www.mobilityvalley.com @MobilityValley

    They do not publish their financial figures till 2003 but seems to reach 650 M€ in sales for 2008 ( => 1B$).

    So 3 B$ to buy it seems normal (3 years of sales) …

    Good money !!!

  • http://www.singlepill.com SinglePill.com

    Time to spend some of those Kindle dollars! Good for Bezozs. I just wish that he’d take eBay on again with auctions. eBay’s had it too easy for the last ten years and they regularly abuse their most important customers. With the double whammy of higher eBay fees combined with PayPal’s it’s putting a lot of people out of business.

  • http://www.deutsche-startups.de/2009/12/04/lesenswert-brands4friends-social-media-amazon-vente-privee-friendster-jimdo-movieclips-com/ Lesenswert: Brands4Friends, Social Media, Amazon, Vente-Privee, Friendster, Jimdo, Movieclips.com :: deutsche-startups.de

    […] Amazon and Vente-Privee in talks over 2 billion Euro acquisition, say sources US retailing giant Amazon is in deep and secret negotiations with Vente-Privee, the French private sales club which has taken the ecommerce and fashion industries by storm, our sources say. TechCrunch […]

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    […] Amazon and Vente-Privee in talks over 2 billion Euro acquisition … […]

  • toddq

    i wonder how the postal system works in europe? is it easy to mail from germany to say france or even cross sea to england? Imagine what it would be like if every state in the US had their own postal service! prices would be outrageous i think. amazon has got a lot of my business because of their free shipping gimmick. i wonder if they could afford that in other countries with different postal systems. i buy printer ink every month from amazon because it is the same price as lexmark sells it but the difference is that i get free shipping with amazon

    • dee

      @toddq: Within EU, letters and small packages must cost the same whether its send within one country or cross-borders within EU.

      And larger packages in cross-border online retail are often handled by The Big Boys (DHL, FedEx or UPS) anyway, not by national postal services.

  • http://www.spirofrog.de Lebenslauf

    I like the fact that an online retailer is successful at ” le Monde” newspapers premises!

  • http://www.financialeyesandears.com/2009/12/04/local-business-win-1000-from-intuit/ Local Business? Win $1,000 from Intuit- Financial Eyes & Ears

    […] $1.2 billion Zappos acquisition, Amazon looks poised to buy another e-commerce upstart. This time, reports TechCrunch, it’s Vente-Privee, a French company that operates private online sample sales […]

  • http://www.brandsclub.com.br Olivier

    Actually the spread of private sales club is not limited to Europe and USA.

    There is several opening in South America as well.

    http://www.brandsclub.com.br is #1 in Brazil and is of comparable size of Kupivip.

    Latam rarely gets attention, however Brazil alone is the 9th biggest country population wise on the internet and is growing fast.

  • http://blog.21stcapital.com/?p=783 Local Business? Win $1,000 from Intuit | Extranet Factoring

    […] $1.2 billion Zappos acquisition, Amazon looks poised to buy another e-commerce upstart. This time, reports TechCrunch, it’s Vente-Privee, a French company that operates private online sample sales […]

  • chris

    hmmm…no mention of the other US private sale club – hautelook.com…

  • http://www.agentka.cz Petr Kral

    The owners of Vente Privee sold 20% of the company for 1+ billion Euros a year or two back. Why would they sell the remaining 80% for 2 billion Euros?

  • alain revah

    @Petr: …that is because they didn’t sell 20% for €1BN but took an investment from Summit Partners which valued the company close to €1BN. You do the math as to how much was invested but it wasn’t €1BN. And Sotiris Lyritzis must be really happy. Congrats!

    • http://www.agentka.cz Petr Kral

      In this video, they talk about a 20% sale for $1B+

      (LeWeb’08)

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