Worldview: Australian Heritage Brand Akubra Acquired by Billionaire Investor

🇦🇺 Billionaire mining magnate acquires Australian hatmaker Akubra. Tattarang, the Perth-based investment company owned by Andrew Forrest, the Australian founder of Fortescue Metals Group, and his wife Nicola Forrest, has purchased the 147-year-old milliner famous for its range of quintessentially Australian bush hats, for an undisclosed amount, from the Keir family whose ownership goes back five generations. The move is Tattarang’s third fashion investment, following its acquisition of Australian bush clothing and footwear brand R.M. Williams from L Catterton in 2020 and its 25 percent stake in Sydney-based womenswear brand Camilla earlier this year. [Australian Financial Review, Bloomberg]

🇯🇵 Kosé Corporation’s Q3 profits beat analysts’ estimates in Japan. Kosé, which is less dependent on Chinese sales than other Japanese beauty majors like Shiseido, has been more insulated from slowing demand from China driven by that market’s muted economic recovery and a limited Chinese consumer boycott over Japan’s release of treated radioactive wastewater at Fukushima. “The most important difference [between Japanese beauty companies’ recent performance] is probably the domestic sales contribution,” said Morningstar analyst Jeanie Chen. [Bloomberg, Japan Times]

🇨🇳 Management shakeup at China’s unseats retail executive. Days after the latest Singles’ Day shopping festival, which saw intense competition between and rival Alibaba, the former announced that its CEO, Sandy Ran Xu, will also take over the leadership of the JD Retail unit from Xin Lijun. Sandy Ran Xu was promoted to the top spot in May, replacing Xu Lei who only lasted for about a year, while Xin will now move to an unspecified role elsewhere in the company. [South China Morning Post, BoF]

🇵🇰 Alibaba-owned e-commerce giant Daraz struggles in key Pakistan market. Reported losses are mounting at the clothing-to-electronics e-tailer despite recent customer acquisition growth, aggressive marketing programmes and increasingly efficient operations in the South Asian country, where an economic crisis looms, and in other markets the company serves in the region: Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Myanmar. [Rest of World]

🇧🇯 Benin’s cotton industry moves up the value chain with textile export upgrade. Arise Integrated Industrial Platforms (ARISE IIP) has partnered with African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) to deploy a state-of-the-art quality assurance centre initiative (AQAC) within the industrial parks of Gabon and Benin. The latter is one of Africa’s leading cotton-producing countries and is home to Arise IIP-developed textile factories in the Glo-Djigbé industrial zone (GDIZ). AQAC aims to help African nations improve compliance with international standards and technical regulations to promote exports. [BoF Inbox]

🇦🇷 Argentina’s new president has some apparel industry leaders worried. Javier Milei, a radical libertarian, far-right populist who admires Donald Trump and self-described “anarcho-capitalist”, has won the presidency in the country suffering a decades-long economic crisis. Though Argentine stocks and bonds rose in trading outside the country immediately after his win, some local apparel and textile industry leaders had reluctantly supported his rival as they feared that Milei’s promises to make “drastic” changes to the economy could go too far or be counterproductive. Other business leaders felt alarmed by both candidates. [Financial Times, La Nacion]

🇮🇱 Israel’s Delta Galil acquires French lingerie brand Passionata. The Tel Aviv-based manufacturer of branded and private label apparel in the intimates, activewear, loungewear and denim categories has acquired the brand from Chantelle Groupe for an undisclosed amount. Separately, the company reported that year-over-year Q3 net income fell 18.3 percent to $29.5 million, with net sales falling 9.6 percent to $463 million. [Bloomberg, Sourcing Journal]

🇳🇬 African e-commerce major Jumia expects lower annual losses than last year. Thanks to cost-cutting measures, the company forecasts a 57 percent improvement in year-over-year income, resulting in expected losses of between $80-90 million. Its recent Q3 loss of $15 million (adjusted for tax, depreciation and amortisation) is the firm’s lowest loss since going public in 2019. However, economic headwinds including currency devaluations and inflation in key markets like Nigeria, are expected to moderate performance next quarter. [Semafor].

🇨🇳 Rich Chinese shoppers’ appetite slows as confidence falters. Global luxury retailers counting on wealthy Chinese shoppers to raise their sales might be dismayed by recent reports pointing to a slowdown in their appetite for pricey bags and clothes. There’s been a “decline in optimism” since April according to a recent report by Agility Research & Strategy. [BoF]

🇮🇳 India’s Kalyan Jewellers reports 27.1% rise in Q2 profit. The Kerala-based firm said consolidated net profit rose to 1.35 billion rupees ($16.23 million) in the quarter ended Sep. 30, driven by rising domestic demand for ready-to-wear jewellery ahead of the Diwali festive period in India and growth in the Middle East during the Eid holidays. [Economic Times]

🇰🇷 Korean beauty giant Amorepacific to increase stake in K-beauty brand Cosrx. Following the acquisition of 38.4 percent of Cosrx’s shares in 2021, Amorepacific said it will buy another 288,000 shares for 755.1 billion won ($571 million), bringing its stake to 93.2 percent. Cosrx is a Seoul-based skincare company offering products like snail mucin-based serum that have gained popularity internationally. [Korea JoongAng Daily]

🇨🇳 Tencent profit beats estimates in defiance of China downturn. Net income slid 9 percent at the WeChat parent company Tencent Holdings Ltd, reflecting ramped-up spending on content, but still exceeded expectations at 36.2 billion yuan ($5 billion). [BoF]

🇨🇮 Better Cotton launches Côte d’Ivoire programme to support farmers. The non-profit, headquartered between Geneva and London, has chosen the Professional Association of Cotton Companies of Côte d’Ivoire (APROCOT-CI) as its strategic partner to offer training and resources to 200,000 farmers to improve profitability, increase the sustainable cotton yield and monitor climate resilience improvement activities. Better Cotton is already grown in 22 countries, including 4 other African nations. [Sourcing Journal]

🇨🇳 Chinese seller of knockoff handbags sues Marc Jacobs in US court. Guangzhou Xiao Ling Wan Trading Co., which owns and operates an Amazon store called Lingwanus selling bags nearly identical to the US designer’s, has filed an unexpected lawsuit, claiming that Marc Jacobs made “fraudulent assertions of trademark infringement, which ultimately caused Amazon to remove [its] listings.” [The Fashion Law]

🇨🇴 Colombian designer Nancy Gonzalez pleads guilty in US to illegal imports. Gzuniga Ltd., the accessories designer’s Colombia-based business, was also named in the indictment for conspiracy and smuggling relating to the repeated illegal importation of handbags made from caiman and python skin between 2016 and 2019. [Miami Herald]

🇨🇳 Chinese beauty retailer Sa Sa International swings to profit. The Hong Kong-based company’s business in Hong Kong and Macau recorded revenue growth of 57.9 percent, while its mainland China and Southeast Asia divisions fell 12 percent and 4.2 percent, respectively, during the six months ended Sep. 30. [Inside Asia]

🇨🇳 Louis Vuitton teams up with Hong Kong tycoon to host debut show. The brand is set to hold its first ever fashion show in Hong Kong, in partnership with New World Development’s chairman Adrian Cheng, with the harbour-front event set to give a glimpse at the city’s progress in reviving its status as a tourism and shopping hub. [BoF]

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