Abu Dhabi’s Multiply Group invests $25m in Rihanna’s fashion brand

The investment was made through its wellness subsidiary, investment company tells ADX

Rihanna launched intimate apparel venture Savage X Fenty in 2018. Reuters
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Multiply Group, an Abu Dhabi technology focused investment holding company, invested Dh92 million ($25m) in musician and businesswoman Rihanna’s intimate apparel venture Savage X Fenty as it seeks to expand its global portfolio.

This investment was made through its wholly owned subsidiary, MG Wellness Holding, the company said in a statement to the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange, where its shares are traded.

“Savage X Fenty was launched in 2018 by Rihanna to celebrate fearless individuality and broaden the definition of what is beautiful. Since its inception, it has experienced a revenue compound annual growth rate of 150 per cent,” Samia Bouazza, chief executive of Multiply Group, said in the statement to ADX.

Since its inception, Savage X Fenty has experienced a revenue compound annual growth rate of 150 per cent
Samia Bouazza, chief executive of Multiply Group

At 33, Robyn Rihanna Fenty is one of the youngest celebrity billionaires. As of August last year, she was also the second-richest musician in the world. Forbes estimates her net worth at $1.7 billion, thanks in large part to her make-up and fashion empires. She earns about $70m per year, according to Celebrity Net Worth.

Multiply Group recently raised Dh3.1bn through its listing on the ADX in December to expand its global portfolio.

The company, a subsidiary of ADX-listed International Holding Company, has a “strong and promising” pipeline of potential acquisitions and it is evaluating several deals, Ms Bouazza said in an interview earlier this month with The National.

“We have raised money, which we need to start using wisely and intelligently,” Ms Bouazza said. “In order to fund our inorganic growth in a very bold acquisitive mode … [we need] to find good opportunities that bring both strategic value to our portfolio and financial value to our shareholders.”

Timed with the opening of Savage X Fenty’s first brick-and-mortar boutique on the Las Vegas Strip, the company announced a new Series C funding round of $125m led by investment management company Neuberger Berman, Forbes reported on Wednesday.

Previous investors L Catterton (a private equity company backed by LVMH’s Bernard Arnault), Avenir, Sunley House Capital, Advent International and Marcy Venture Partners (the VC company co-founded by Jay-Z) also participated in the Series C round. The company also received a new investment from LionTree and Abu Dhabi Growth Fund, according to Forbes.

This brings total venture capital funding to date to $310m for the intimate apparel brand. The latest funding will support the fashion company’s foray into brick-and-mortar retail, plans to expand overseas and the launch of new product lines, the Forbes report said.

Multiply Group was acquired by IHC, the biggest company on ADX by market value, in 2020. It has been on an acquisition spree, having closed six investment transactions in 2021 alone. The company's portfolio of investments includes stakes in companies including Emirates Driving Company, Omorfia Group, Viola Communications, Firefly and Yieldmo.

The company’s Dh275m investment in global visual content creator and marketplace Getty Images was its last deal. It signed a binding commitment to invest in Getty as part of the company’s listing through its merger with a special purpose acquisition company, or Spac, it announced in the last week of December.

Getty is merging with CC Neuberger Principal Holdings II and the deal is expected to close in the first half of 2022, after which a newly formed parent company of Getty Images is expected to be listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

Multiply Group has five business verticals – ventures, digital, wellness, utilities and communications – and it is looking to build them as these sectors offer growth potential amid global economic recovery from the pandemic-driven slowdown.

Multiply is also open to acquiring or investing in assets regardless of geographical boundaries. The deals it is currently evaluating are from three different countries on two different continents, the chief executive said in an earlier interview.

“We are genuinely looking at global opportunities,” Ms Bouazza added.

Updated: January 27, 2022, 2:34 PM