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Spec Talk: Plans for Hugo Boss? Arc’teryx Eyeing IPO?

This week’s Spec Talk delves into the scuttlebutt surrounding Frasers Group’s latest investment in Hugo Boss and the thinking behind Arc’teryx adding a CFO to the payroll. Could an IPO be ahead?

Frasers Group x Hugo Boss

Michael Ashley’s Frasers Group on Monday increased its investment in Hugo Boss AG with its total share count now worth about 390 million pounds ($508.4 million).

The last time Frasers upped its investment in the German luxury brand was January 2021, after taking an initial stake in June and then following up with another investment a few weeks later.

So what’s the thinking behind the Hugo Boss investment? Frasers said it “continues to intend to be a supportive stakeholder and create value in the interests of both Frasers Group’s and Hugo Boss‘ shareholders.” The investment would also help ensure Hugo Boss’ premium fashion remains a presence in Ashley’s retail stores, such as House of Fraser. But could Ashley be considering a takeover? Fraser Group eventually acquired Games Digital after first investing in the U.K. gaming retailer.

Is an IPO in Arc’teryx Equipment’s future?

The Vancouver performance outerwear maker last month named Chris Tham to the newly created role of chief financial officer. Tham, who held the same title at optical retail chain Bailey Nelson, has amassed more than 20 years of corporate financial and strategic planning experience across the global lifestyle sector.

Acr’teryx operates in a market on track to reach $77.2 billion by 2026, up from $50.8 billion in 2019, according to 360 Research Reports. It’s taking on competitors from The North Face and Patagonia, to Nike, Lululemon, Under Armour and Timberland.

Companies commonly bring a finance wizard on board before they file their paperwork to go public, often about 12 to 18 months before a planned IPO. The CFO plays a critical role in ensuring the company has its ducks in a row, and takes charge of all the regulatory requirements involved with making the leap from private to public. Allbirds, for one, quietly hired Michael J. Bufano as its CFO in March 2021 before it raised over $300 million in its November IPO. Arc’teryx could be following in those same footsteps.