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FB Roundup: Rami Cassis, Alex Chesterman, Li Ka-shing

In this week’s FB Roundup, Rami Cassis stakes a claim in luxury brand Hervia; Alex Chesterman snaps up additional stock in Cazoo; and Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-shing’s family office sets up in Singapore.
International growth investor Rami Cassis.

Rami Cassis stakes claim in luxury brand Hervia
International growth investor Rami Cassis has entered the luxury goods market with the acquisition of UK-based fashion brand Hervia through his private family office, Parabellum Investments.

The deal, which was made for an undisclosed sum, gives Cassis a 75% stake in the Manchester-based business which sells designer clothing and jewellery.

The company was founded in 1993 by Oscar Pinto-Hervia, who will remain as chief executive officer and minority stakeholder, and exiting co-owner Richard Duncalf.

With a significant customer base already in places across Europe, North America and Asia, Cassis pledged to further expand Hervia with emerging British and European designers and diversification into new lines, such as childrenswear.

The agreement sees Cassis take control of Hervia's online platform, its flagship Manchester store and the operation of the Adidas Y-3 store in Mayfair, London.

“Hervia has a rich legacy as a brand and strong foundations as a business. Our ambitious plans are based on driving future organic growth as well as exploring new acquisitions for Hervia,” said Cassis in a statement. “I look forward to investing in the business from top to bottom, including improving the customer experience, entering new segments of the market, and adding to an already excellent team.

“Oscar has created an amazing business and has a natural eye for fledgling industry talent, and he’ll remain a core part of Hervia's DNA. His vision around sourcing and encouraging young British designers will help us continue discovering the best emerging designers and up-and-coming brands to partner with.”

Cazoo founder Alex Chesterman snaps up additional stock in his car-buying platform
British internet entrepreneur Alex Chesterman has purchased an additional $1 million worth of stock in Cazoo, following a drop in the used-car platform’s share price.

The online firm – which Chesterman launched in 2019 following a successful £80 million pre-seed and pre-launch raise – has spent tens of millions on sponsorship deals with premier league football clubs Everton and Aston Villa, the PGA European Tour, and the Welsh Rugby Union amongst others, despite facing stiff competition from the likes of similar service Cinch.

Chesterman’s most-recent stock purchase, which follows a share-value slump since Cazoo went public through a merger with a New York-based special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) last year, brings his total stake up to more than 23 per cent with an estimated worth of $250 million.

Despite the drop in share value, Cazoo saw a 200%-plus rise in the number of cars sold in the first quarter of 2022, with revenues elevated by 159%.

“Whilst the current macroeconomic climate has driven heightened fear in the markets recently, I remain very confident in our strategy and incredibly excited by the long-term opportunity that Cazoo is going after,” said Chesterman to Sky News. “Increasing my holding simply reflects my continued belief in the vision and future of the business.”

Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-shing’s family office sets up in Singapore
Following the news that Oppenheimer Generations, the family office of ex-De Beers chair Nicky Oppenheimer, is tapping into the Asian market with a new hub in Singapore, billionaire magnate Li Ka-shing’s family office Horizons Ventures is following suit.

According to Bloomberg, the new hub will be the 30th richest man in the world’s (according to Forbes) first outside of Hong Kong and will accelerate Horizon Ventures’ plans to expand deals across Asia.

Citing the city-state’s incentives and lower taxes as a regional base for investors, Horizon Ventures’ Singapore office roster will include portfolio curator Jeffrey Ho and senior investment manager Jacky Li.

“We have about 23 investments across the region and operating out of this hub actually becomes pretty important because everyone is here,” said Horizons Venture Adelaide-based portfolio curator Chris Liu. “Building a hub out of Singapore and helping our companies create and identify strategic opportunities and partnerships into the south-east Asian region makes total sense.”

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