Retailers salvaged by overseas buyout

HerringboneMenswear brands, Rhodes & Beckett and Herringbone, have been saved from liquidation after being bought by a firm that is being backed by a Hong Kong-based private equity company.

As a precursor to the sale, eight Rhodes & Beckett concession outlets in Myer were recently closed coinciding with the expiration of occupancy agreements, with staff at the concessions  redeployed to other stores.

Cor Cordis, the company appointed as administrators for the brands earlier this year, said the two stage strategy had paid off.

“We appointed Gordon Brothers to complete an inventory clearance program, which then enabled us to successfully negotiate with interested parties to purchase the business with a fresh start and a new product range and offering,” said Cor Cordis Partner, Luke Targett.

The purchaser, Black Bear Holdings Pty Ltd, is headed by current brand director Michel Boutin and supported by private equity firm AO Capital.

Negotiations are ongoing with landlords of the 15 remaining Rhodes & Beckett and Herringbone stores, which will ultimately determine the new business’ store footprint.

The relaunch of Rhodes & Beckett is expected to occur later in the year with negotiations ongoing for the relaunch of the Herringbone brand.

“I would like to thank the staff for their unwavering support and dedication over the last 6 months. It is satisfying that unlike so many recent retail collapses, we have been able to restructure the business to ensure that the brand, stores and business will survive albeit in a leaner and more focussed incarnation,” Targett added.

Since the appointment of Cor Cordis as Administrators in February 2017, Herringbone and Rhodes & Beckett stores have continued to trade while discussions progressed with a variety of interested purchasers.

Both companies, headquartered in Melbourne, are majority owned and supplied by global German luxury apparel maker van Laack GmbH and hold the exclusive rights to the premium brands in Australia.

The administrators said a total stock clearance program isprogressing well with significant discounts being offered across all product lines and that all stock must be sold.

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