Apax Funds complete acquisition of leading trend forecasting business WGSN
1st February 2024Apax Further to the announcement made by Ascential plc (LSE: ASCL) in October 2023, funds advised by Apax Partners LLP (“Apax"), a global private equity advisory fir
Further to the announcement made by Ascential plc (LSE: ASCL) in October 2023, funds advised by Apax Partners LLP (“Apax"), a global private equity advisory firm, today announced the completion of the acquisition of WGSN, Ascential’s subsidiary data business unit focused on consumer trend forecasting.
Founded in 1998, WGSN is the world’s leading consumer trend forecaster. WGSN’s data and forecasts provide global trend insights across a wide range of industries, including fashion, beauty, food & drink, interiors, and consumer technology. The WGSN platform enables clients to make critical design and purchasing decisions. The Company has been experiencing strong growth in recent years with a revenue CAGR of 8% from 2016 to 2022.
As an independent company, WGSN is well positioned to accelerate growth and cement its place as the global leader in consumer trend forecasting. In partnership with the Apax Funds, WGSN will focus on enhancing and expanding its product design and consumer insight products across a wide range of consumer-facing industries, ensuring their expanding global client base make the right critical design and buying decisions to future-proof and accelerate their own growth.
Carla Buzasi, President and CEO, WGSN, said: “Today’s news marks an incredibly important milestone for WGSN. For over twenty-five years, WGSN has been a true pioneer, revolutionising trend forecasting and working with the world’s biggest brands to super-charge their futures. With the support of the Apax Funds and the Apax platform, we are ideally positioned to build on our unique offering, which combines AI and data forecasting models alongside the world’s best forecasters, to further support our global customers in designing and creating the products and experiences their consumers need today and tomorrow.”
Steve Kooyers, Partner, Apax, commented: “We’re excited to work side by side with Carla and her team to execute on our shared vision for growth. The team has built a terrific business with mission critical products, a strong brand, and a long history of customer success. Together, we will continue to innovate and improve WGSN’s core fashion product proposition while accelerating the Company’s already successful expansion into new verticals.”
Mark Sykes, Principal, Apax, added: “WGSN has long been at the forefront of consumer trend forecasting, and we see a meaningful opportunity to invest behind the business to help it extend its capabilities and reach. We look forward to partnering with the entire team, leveraging Apax’s sector expertise, operational experience, and deep industry network to accelerate growth and reinforce WGSN’s position as the global authority on trend forecasting.”
Apax has extensive experience partnering with businesses in the information and data space, including the Funds’ prior investments in sports-data specialist Genius Sports and workforce screening solutions provider Accurate Background. Apax also has substantial experience in B2B subscription sales from the Funds’ historical marketplace investments.
Apax was advised by Allen & Overy (lead counsel), Simon Kucher (lead commercial advisor), EY (tax and financial DD advisor) and Bank of America & Goldman Sachs (joint financial advisors).
Apax Partners LLP ("Apax") is a leading global private equity advisory firm. For 50 years, Apax has worked to inspire growth and ideas that transform businesses. The firm has raised and advised funds with aggregate commitments of more than $65 billion. The Apax Funds invest in companies across four global sectors of Internet/Consumer, Tech, Services, and Healthcare. These funds provide long-term equity financing to build and strengthen world-class companies. For more information see: www.apax.com.
Apax Partners is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority in the UK.
WGSN is the global authority on consumer, lifestyle and product design trends, helping brands around the world create the right products at the right time for tomorrow’s consumer.
WGSN's trusted consumer and design forecasts power outstanding product design, enabling our customers to create a better future. Our services cover consumer insights, beauty, consumer tech, fashion, interiors, lifestyle, food and drink forecasting, data analytics and expert advisory.