Following speculation earlier this week, luxury powerhouse – the Richemont Group – have confirmed that it will merge Net-a-Porter with the Yoox Group. In a statement, Richemont said that it had entered into a binding, conditional agreement, for an all-share transaction, which will create a global fashion eCommerce giant. The financial details were not disclosed.

Net-a-Porter's founder and executive chairman – Natalie Massenet – will remain in her role for the new entity, whilst the founder of Yoox, Federico Marchetti will serve as CEO for the combined business – which will now be known as the Yoox Net-a-Porter Group. The company will be incorporated in Italy and feature on the Italian stock exchange.

"Today, we open the doors to the world's biggest luxury fashion store. It is a store that never closes, a store without geographical borders, a store that connects with, inspires, serves and offers millions of style-conscious global consumers access to the finest designer labels in fashion." – Natalie Massenet

This new agreement is conditional of the Yoox shareholders, at the next meeting, which will be held in June.

The Richemont group will hold a 50% stake in the share capital of the Yoox Net-a-Porter Group, but its voting rights will be limited to 25%. Richemont also said it has committed to a lock-up period of three years in respect of shares equivalent to 25 percent of the total share capital of the combined entity in today's statement.

After the completion of the deal, the new entity is expected to debut a capital increase of up to $217 million, in order to fund growth and allow for "strategic investors" to come on board.

The chairman of Richemont said that the luxury goods powerhouse "has been a pioneer in luxury e-commerce, first as a minority shareholder of Net-a-Porter in its infancy and then as a controlling shareholder since 2010. We are proud of Net-a-Porter's achievements under the leadership of Natalie Massenet, ably assisted by a wonderful team of professionals."

"Established business models are being increasingly disrupted by the technological giants. It is with this in mind that we believe it is important to increase leadership and size to protect the uniqueness of the luxury industry. The merger of the two leaders will further enhance an independent, neutral platform for a sophisticated clientele looking for luxury brands," he added.

Previous reports suggested that another global eCommerce giant, Amazon, was in talks to acquire both Yoox and Net-a-Porter on seperate occasions.

UPDATE | An official statement is released by Natalie Massenet on Instagram March 31, it reads:

"Today, we open the doors to the world's biggest luxury fashion store. It is a store that never closes, a store without geographical borders, a store that connects with, inspires, serves and offers millions of style-conscious global consumers access to the finest designer labels in fashion. A store that provides established and emerging brands with an extraordinary interactive shop window to the world. Together, with our world-class teams in technology, logistics, content and commerce we are redefining the fashion media and retail landscape. The best way to predict the future of fashion is to create it. Thank you to everyone who has been part of this incredible journey so far and a big shout out to our partners in the future."