Luxury lingerie retailer Agent Provocateur has been acquired by
3i, the midmarket private equity company, for an undisclosed sum.
Agent Provocateur was founded in 1994 by Joseph Corre and Serena
Rees and now has a presence in 14 countries across Europe, the
USA and the Middle East as well as a growing ecommerce business.
Whilst both founders will continue to be shareholders in the business, Rees has left to pursue new opportunities. Corre will remain with Agent Provocateur as creative director. Stuart Rose (no relation to Marks and Spencer chief Stuart Rose), chairman of The Hamleys Group, will join as chairman. Other 3i investments in the retail sector include Interflora and fashion retailer Hobbs.
As part of its strategy for growing its online business, Agent Provocateur recently selected Mediaplex (part of ValueClick Europe) to manage its online marketing activity. Mediaplex is working with Agent Provocateur’s digital marketing agency, Blowfish Digital, to track, manage and evaluate the retailer’s natural and paid search and affiliate marketing activities in the UK. The platform Agent Provocateur uses allows sales to be deduplicated so that credit is awarded only to the site from which the user last clicked prior to completing the sale. This in turn means that Agent Provocateur can better target investment and spend per channel.