Farfetch is facing a winding up petition days after a $500 million rescue deal was finalised for the fashion marketplace, according to a report in The Telegraph.
Shareholders have filed the petition in the Cayman Islands alleging that there has been “serious deficiencies” in the company’s governance and accusing founder José Neves of “unjustified value-destructive steps”.
The group – which have reportedly seen their $400m investment in Farfetch wiped out by the takeover by South Korea’s Coupang – claim Neves rushed through the pre-pack administration deal and that four months earlier the company had reported a liquidity of over $800m.
The sale included a £394.7m bridge loan to help Farfetch, a digital marketplace focused on luxury clothing and beauty products, avoid bankruptcy.
The group has called for the appointment of liquidator Alvarez & Marsal in a bid to recoup their investment. These creditors said the company “does not have a functioning or independent board” after all directors other than Neves – who held 77% of voting rights – left the business.
The shareholders had sought to prevent the deal, stating that Farfetch had not been marketed to other potential purchasers and could have instead off-loaded non-core businesses – including New Guards Group and fashion boutique Browns – to meet its financial obligations.
Farfetch was founded in London in 2017 and floated on the New York Stock Exchange a year later at a $6.3 billion valuation.
Before Christmas last year its market capitalisation had fallen to just $221 million.