AMTD International to acquire fashion media group L’Officiel

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Hong Kong-based financial services conglomerate AMTD International has entered a deal to acquire L’Officiel Inc., a global fashion media company, according to a filing to SGX Thursday by the investment banking firm. 

L’Officiel Inc. is the holding company for 100-year-old French magazine L’Officiel and for a network of fashion and luxury media brands, the filing said.

William Fung, CEO of AMTD International, said the acquisition was part of a plan to continue diversifying the company’s operations, and as a way to expand into the “Metaverse.”

The Metaverse is defined variously as a simulated digital environment, a virtual-reality space for users to interact with a computer-generated environment and other users, an iteration of the internet as a single world and/or as a merger of virtual, augmented and physical reality. 

The deal aims to add L’Officiel to AMTD’s SpiderNet product, which is an ecosystem used to provide financial services to clients, the filing said. 

Calvin Choi, chairman of AMTD Group and founder of AMTD International, said integrating L’Officiel into the SpiderNet would make the company a “core player in the global fashion and luxury media sector.”

“AMTD Group is committed to investing into and cementing points of connectivity between peoples’ interests, lifestyle, and ESG initiatives, acting as a super-connector. The acquisition is the ideal springboard for L’Officiel to spearhead the adoption of new Web 3.0 practices and technologies coupled with the comprehensive financial services tools and infrastructure set up by AMTD across Asia,” Choi said in the statement. 

Choi has been appointed lead chairman of the board of directors of L’Officiel, the filing said.

Benjamin Eymere will remain the CEO of L’Officiel, and he has also been appointed as chief metaverse officer of AMTD International, responsible for driving AMTD’s Metaverse initiatives, the filing said. 

“Our goal is to showcase AMTD International’s leadership in metaversal entertainment and cultural areas, and metaversal investment banking,” Eymère said in the statement. “AMTD International’s plan is to roll out a new world of decentralized services and entertainment contents, leveraging AMTD’s sophisticated digital transformation capability.”

Under the deal, AMTD will open AMTD x L’Officiel Land in The Sandbox, which is a leading decentralized gaming platform, the filing said. The “Land” will include a project using L’Officiel’s database of more than 100,000 exclusive images from its 100-year history, the filing said.

AMTD International is dual-listed in Singapore and on the NYSE; it is a subsidiary of AMTD Group.

According to AMTD International’s website, it was founded in 2003 by CK Hutchison Holdings; it is involved in investment banking and asset management.

L’Officiel had estimated annual revenue of US$4.2 million, according to data from Owler. 

On Wednesday, L’Officiel USA, which is being sued for failing to pay its freelancers, said it has offered a settlement.